Life-science briefing: Monday, March 24, 2008

TODAY’S HEADLINES:

Trius Therapeutics raises $30M for new antibiotics – Trius Therapeutics, a San Diego startup developing new treatments for antibiotic-resistant infections, raised $30 million in a second funding round. Investors included Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, FinTech Global Capital, Sofinnova Ventures, Versant Ventures, Interwest Partners and Prism VentureWorks.

Trius said the funding will allow it to push its new treatment, an oxazolidinone antibiotic it calls TR-701, into late-stage human tests. The drug, which is intended for drug-resistant staphylococcus and similar infections, is currently in early-stage, phase I trials. Unlike many other new antibiotics, which must usually be taken intravenously, the Trius drug can be taken as a pill.

genomas-logo.gifGenomas gets $1.2M grant for genomic side-effect tests – Genomas, a Hartford, Conn., personalized-medicine startup, received a $1.2 million small business-innovation grant from the NIH. The grant will fund genetic work aimed at identifying people who are most likely to suffer painful side effects from cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.

Statins — particularly Pfizer’s Lipitor, the best-selling drug on the market today — have built up a formidable reputation based on studies that showed they could prevent fatal heart attacks. More recently, however, critics of the drugs have pointed out that stopping one heart attack requires close to 100 people to take the drugs regularly, putting new attention on statin side effects, which can range from painful muscle aches and weakness to memory loss. The Genomas test is intended to reveal whether an individual patient is likely to experience those nerve and muscle effects, known technically as statin-induced neuromyopathy.

blog comments powered by Disqus