Theraclone Nabs Industry Award, Scopes Out Extra $10M Financing

Xconomy Seattle — 

Seattle-based Theraclone Sciences is enjoying a moment in the national biotech spotlight today, just as it happens to be on the prowl for some new cash.

Theraclone was honored today as one of the Fierce 15, an annual award that the trade publication FierceBiotech gives out to 15 emerging biotech companies around the world. In a profile of the company today by FierceBiotech editor John Carroll, Theraclone acting CEO Steve Gillis says he wants to put together a new $10 million financing round for the company in the next few weeks and then complete the search for a permanent CEO. Theraclone has been without a permanent CEO since Dave Fanning died unexpectedly in June 2010.

Not very many Seattle biotechs end up garnering the national spotlight, although Fierce has typically recognized one or two companies a year from the Northwest. Last year, Bothell, WA-based Alder Biopharmaceuticals and Seattle-based VentiRx Pharmaceuticals made the cut, while Seattle’s Calistoga Pharmaceuticals (recently acquired by Gilead Sciences) took home the prize the year earlier.

Theraclone gained some visibility in the past year when it struck a partnership with Pfizer, and got some important work published in Nature about how its antibody-drug discovery technology can be used to potentially help develop an AIDS vaccine.

Gillis and Theraclone’s chief financial officer, Russ Hawkinson, didn’t immediately respond to e-mailed requests for comment about the financing.

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