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United States : $15 Million in financing attracted by Biotech firm

June 21, 2014

The company declared that the first Scripps Florida spin-off has attracted $15 million in financing from a Brazilian company.

West Palm Beach-based Tyrogenex is developing a once-a-day pill for patients with age-related macular degeneration. The company's early studies are indicating that the drug is better tolerated by patients at higher doses than present drugs, which can affect heart and kidney function.

Cheryl Calhoun, vice president of business development for Tyrogenex said, "It would eliminate those painful monthly injections . Currently, treatment for macular degeneration generally involves injections in the eye.

Tyrogenex is part of a company established by successful entrepreneur Sheridan Snyder and previous Scripps scientist Chris Liang.

The financing will go toward further clinical development of the therapy for ophthalmology as well as for cancer patients, Calhoun said. The company stated Tyrogenex's compound also is showing anti-tumor activities in studies.

Tyrogenex, which hires approximately 10 people in West Palm, was introduced to Brace Pharma by one of its scientific advisers, she said. Brace is the U.S. investment company of EMS Pharmaceuticals, which is one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in Brazil.

She said, "They are an equity investor. They have a seat on the board and a window on what's happening in the company .

Tyrogenex entered clinical trials on its drug in 2010, and it was well tolerated by patients, Calhoun said.

She said, "We've seen really exciting results . 70% of patients on lower doses did not need injections for six months. At higher doses, researchers found dramatic reductions in fluid in the retina.

The company is still 4 or 5 years away from seeking FDA approval around 2018, she said.

Tyrogenex, an Xcovery Group company, was co-founded by Snyder, co-founder of biotech giant Genzyme Corp., and Liang, one of the first scientists to join Scripps Florida, in 2004. Three years later, Xcovery licensed intellectual property developed by Liang in his laboratory at Scripps.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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