Life-science briefing: Tuesday, March 25, 2008

TODAY’S HEADLINES:

Antibody-discovery startup Adimab raises new funding – Lebanon, N.H.-based Adimab, a biotech working on new ways to discover antibody drugs, has raised a second round of funding. The company didn’t disclose the size of the round.

Adimab, which raised $6 million last July, is one of several startups looking to design new antibody drugs in bioengineered yeast cells, as we wrote at the time. (Alder Biopharmaceuticals, which raised $40 million in January, is another.) The technique promises to be much faster — and freer of patent restrictions — than current methods. When Adimab completes its current manufacturing facility in the second quarter, it claims it will be able to produce a panel of human antibodies against a particular target in just 90 days, instead of the year or more traditional methods can require.

Investors included Polaris Venture Partners and SV Life Sciences, who also invested in the company’s first round.

spiration-logo-150px.gifLung-device maker Spiration gets $19M – Spiration, a Redmond, Wash., medical-device startup, raised $18.5 million in a seventh funding round. Investors included Versant Ventures, Olympus Medical Systems, New Enterprise Associates, New Leaf Venture Partners, InterWest Partners, Investor Growth Capital and Three Arch Partners.

Spiration has now raised a total of $97 million. It is developing a set of one-way valves for emphysema that can be implanted in the lung’s airways via a minimally invasive procedure. These valves are designed to shunt air away from diseased portions of the lung and redirect it to healthier areas. The company said the funding would support commercialization of its device in Europe and to complete studies for regulatory approval in the U.S.

Other startups working on similar technology include Emphasys Medical, Pulmonx and Broncus Technologies.

protein-discovery-logo.jpgSample-prep startup Protein Discovery pulls in $10M РKnoxville, Tenn.-based Protein Discovery, a biotech with new laboratory technology for protein identification, raised $10 million in a third funding round. Investors included Sant̩ Ventures, Memphis Biomed Ventures, the Southern Appalachian Fund, and the Nashville Capital Network.

The startup is developing technology that aims to “simplify” the process of preparing biological samples for protein analysis. The details are probably too much for anyone who’s not a lab technician themselves, but feel free to check out the company’s explanation if you dare.)

inogen-logo-150px.gifInogen takes in $13M for portable oxygen device – Inogen, a Goleta, Calif., medical-device maker, raised $12.6 million in its fifth funding round, VentureWire reports. Investors included Accuitive Medical Ventures, Arboretum Ventures, Avalon Ventures, Novo A/S, Numenor Ventures and Versant Ventures.

The company makes and sells portable oxygen-delivery systems for patients suffering from a lung problem called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The product has been on the market for several years, and Inogen says it believes it might take several more before it’s in a position to be acquired or to go public.