Life sciences briefing: Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008

TODAY’S HEADLINES:

Endotis Pharma pulls in €25M for clot-busting and cancer drugs — Endotis Pharma, a French specialty pharma focused on drugs for treating blood clots and cancer, raised €25 million ($36.8 million) in a second funding round. Investors included the Wellcome Trust, Endeavour Vision, NIF SMBC Ventures and Sofinnova Partners.

Endotis specializes in complicated chemistry related to natural sugar molecules called glycans that attach to proteins in ways that alter their function. The startup is developing small, synthetic versions of these molecules designed to tackle and “defuse” disease-related proteins, such as clotting factors (which can lead to blood clots) and cancer-related molecules.

orthoaccel-logo-150px.jpgOrthoAccel gets $1.3M for device to speed orthodonture — Houston-based OrthoAccel, a dental-device maker developing a removable mouthpiece designed to speed the work of orthodontic braces, raised $1.3 million to begin clinical trials, VentureWire reports. The funding includes $500,000 in first-round cash from angel investors and $750,000 from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund that will convert into second-round financing later this year.

The OrthoAccel device, called Celerect, is similar to a mouthpiece or retainer, and works in conjunction with standard orthodontic braces. Wearing it for just 10 minute to 20 minutes a day is supposed to provide some sort of pulsating force that accelerates the process of reshaping bones. A company official claims that in animal models, the Celerect may speed tooth movement by 50 percent.

The company envisions marketing the device for adults, who are particularly self-conscious about wearing braces. The VentureWire story says the device may boost the cost of braces, currently around $5,000, by 40 percent to 50 percent.

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