Healthcare Industry News: sanofi-aventis
News Release - November 21, 2006
Intradigm Announces Significant Enhancements of the Company Capabilities, a New Series A Financing and Important Addition to Senior Management TeamPALO ALTO, Calif.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Intradigm Corporation, a privately held biotechnology drug development company focused on the discovery and development of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with unmet medical needs, has achieved several significant corporate developments. These developments encompass strengthening the senior management team, completing a $16 million Series A financing, and establishing new research and drug development facilities in Palo Alto, CA.
Intradigm was formed in 2000 to develop proprietary nucleic acid delivery technology. The fundamental platform of Intradigm's technology is a ligand-targeted nanoparticle system that is capable of systemic delivery of multiple RNAi molecules targeting different genes.
"The discovery that RNAi can silence gene expression is a major scientific breakthrough, and has led to numerous developments towards the use of this technology as a treatment modality," said Dr. Mohammad Azab, CEO of Intradigm. "However, the translation of that discovery to a therapeutic drug is hampered by lack of effective delivery systems. Intradigm is developing such a system and we intend to aggressively pursue the realization of the therapeutic promise of RNAi using our technology."
New research and drug development facilities in Palo Alto, CA
In October, Intradigm opened new facilities in Palo Alto. As a result the company's headquarters is now moved to Palo Alto from Rockville, MD. The new location allows the company to draw on the large pool of skilled biotechnology research and development expertise in the Bay area to efficiently pursue proof-of-concept preclinical and clinical programs
Strengthening Management Team
In the last several months, Intradigm has extended the strength of its management team with the following additions:
Mohammad Azab, MD, MSc, MBA - President & CEO
Dr. Mohammad Azab joined in July 2006 and brings with him more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug development, including leadership of oncology drug development at Sanofi Pharmaceuticals (now sanofi-aventis) and Zeneca Pharmaceuticals (now Astra Zeneca), Dr. Azab previous position was Chief Medical Officer, and executive VP of R&D at QLT Inc. He has a proven track record of shepherding therapies from early stage development to market. During his career, he led drug development programs that resulted in the approval and marketing of seven different new chemical entities in oncology and other therapeutic areas including Arimidex®, and Visudyne®.
Steven Chamow, PhD - Senior Vice President of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control
Dr. Chamow joined Intradigm in November 2006 after 19 years' experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry with emphasis on process development and manufacturing. Dr. Chamow's previous assignments included senior roles in Genitope Corporation, Abgenix, Inc., (now Amgen) where he built the company's process sciences department, Scios, Inc., (acquired by J&J), and Genentech, Inc, where he served for 11 years. During his tenure at Abgenix he co-led the design of their award-winning production facility in Fremont, CA.
Xiao-Dong Yang, MD, PhD - VP of Research and Preclinical Development
Dr. Yang joined Intradigm in September 2006. Prior to joining Intradigm, Dr. Yang was Senior Director of Cancer Pharmacology at Abgenix (now Amgen). While at Abgenix, he was the project team leader for Vectibix(TM) (panitumumab) and played a key role in discovery, development and BLA submission of Vectibix(TM). Dr. Yang was also Senior Director of Oncology Program team responsible for setting strategy and managing Abgenix oncology project portfolio. He has published more than 40 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and is inventor on over 15 issued and pending patents.
Mike Riley, JD, MSc - VP of Corporate Development
Mr. Riley joined Intradigm in August 2006. Mr. Riley brings over 10 years of international business experience, with an emphasis on intellectual property. Most recently he has held various positions in Europe and the US with Amgen, Abgenix, and Celltech Group PLC.
These new additions to the management team work closely with Intradigm co-founders Martin Woodle, Ph.D.(Chief Scientific Officer), Patrick Lu, Ph.D., and Puthupparampil Scaria, Ph.D.
"Intradigm's platform is the most promising technology for developing RNAi-based therapeutics we have seen. The compelling pre-clinical results combined with the additions to management team and recently completed financing, sets the appropriate framework for advancing several novel RNAi-based products toward human clinical trials," comments Jamie Topper, MD. Ph.D. Chairman of Intradigm's board and General Partner of Frazier Healthcare Ventures.
"We are excited to be working with an outstanding, proven management team that has delivered breakthrough therapeutic approaches to the market place before," said Dr. David Mack, Director of Alta Partners. "Together with a strong investor syndicate and a validated RNAi technology, Intradigm is well positioned to advance the goal of selectively modifying gene activity for a clinical benefit"
Series A - $16 million
The company's Series A $16 million financing occurred in May 2006. This financing was co-led by Alta Partners and Frazier Healthcare Ventures. Other investors in this round included existing investors Emerging Technology Partners (ETP) and Novartis' Ventures Fund plus new investors MediBic Alliance/Daiichi and Genentech. In connection with the financing, David Mack, Ph.D., a director at Alta Partners joined the board, and James Topper, MD, Ph.D., a general partner at Frazier Healthcare Ventures, joined the board as chairman.
Intradigm Corporation is a privately held biotechnology drug development company focused on the discovery and development of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases with unmet medical needs through an advanced systemic delivery technology. The company's initial product development efforts will focus on oncology therapeutics. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California and maintains research facilities in Rockville, Maryland.
About Alta Partners
Alta Partners is a San Francisco-based venture capital firm focused on life sciences investing. Founded in 1996, the firm currently manages $2 billion in committed capital through eight venture fund programs. Alta invests in life sciences companies across the development continuum, from company formation to later-stage opportunities, and has funded more than 110 companies in the sector to date. www.altapartners.com
About Frazier Healthcare Ventures
Founded in 1991 and with more than $1.2 billion of capital under management, Frazier Healthcare is one of the nation's leading providers of venture and growth equity capital to emerging healthcare companies. Having invested in more than 90 emerging healthcare companies, Frazier Healthcare is well known for its depth of experience and the technical expertise of its investment team. This experience encompasses product development and launch, clinical trial implementation and design, industry operating experience, academic research and clinical practice. Partnering with Frazier Healthcare provides access to capital and an unparalleled breadth of relevant healthcare industry experience.
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