Healthcare Industry News: La Jolla Pharmaceutical
News Release - August 23, 2006
Kemia Closes Series C FinancingSAN DIEGO--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Aug. 23, 2006--Kemia announced today that it has closed its Series C financing, raising $31 million from new and existing investors. The company plans to use the proceeds to advance its lead clinical compound, KC706, through initial Phase II clinical trials and to progress additional Kemia programs into the clinic.
"Kemia has made substantial progress as a company in the clinic and in the laboratory," said Lew Shuster, Kemia's CEO. "We are pleased to welcome our new investors and board members as we begin the next phase of Kemia's development."
Aberdare Ventures led the Series C financing. Other new investors in the Series C round were MedImmune Ventures, Inc. and Red Abbey Venture Partners. These investors joined existing investors Alta Partners, Forward Ventures, Hamilton Bioventures, JPMorgan Partners, Novartis Bioventures, Novo A/S, and Texas Pacific Group in the financing.
Three new members have been appointed to Kemia's board of directors: Dan Kisner, M.D., Wayne T. Hockmeyer, Ph.D., and Bonnie Hepburn, M.D. With the addition of these three directors, Tamas Bartfai, Ph.D., has stepped down from the board but will continue to serve as a lead scientific advisor.
"I am excited to invest in Kemia and join its board," said Dr. Kisner. "We see great potential for Kemia's clinical compound, KC706."
Dr. Kisner is a partner with Aberdare Ventures. Most recently, Dr. Kisner served as president and CEO of Caliper Technologies. Prior to Caliper, he was the president and COO of Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Hockmeyer founded MedImmune, Inc. and now serves as the chairman of the board of directors of MedImmune and the president of MedImmune Ventures, Inc. Dr. Hepburn formerly served as senior vice president, Drug Development, at Santarus, vice president of Clinical Development at La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co., and leader of the Remicade project team at Centocor. Dr. Hepburn previously held various positions at Novartis AG including executive director of Inflammation, Bone, and Allergy Clinical Research.
Kemia's lead compound, KC706, will shortly begin Phase IIa clinical trials for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and certain cardiovascular and metabolic conditions. KC706 is a selective, allosteric p38 MAP kinase inhibitor. The p38 protein is an important signaling molecule in inflammation. High levels of p38 activity have been associated with several inflammatory diseases.
About Kemia, Inc.:
Kemia discovers and develops novel small molecule therapeutics. Kemia focuses on high value disease targets that are validated, but not yet addressed by safe and effective non-injectable drugs. Kemia's competitive advantage includes proprietary chemistries for allosteric inhibition of kinases and for modulation of GPCRs (G-protein coupled receptors), a multi-disciplinary approach to medicinal chemistry, and rigorous ADME and pharmacokinetic evaluation integrated into the lead optimization process. For more information about Kemia please visit www.kemia.com.
NOTE TO EDITORS: In the company name Kemia Inc. noted in this news release, there is an accent over the "e" in "Kemia."
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