Life-science briefing: Tuesday, April 8, 2008

TODAY’S HEADLINES:

AGI Dermatics takes in $5M for skincare products – Freeport, N.Y.-based AGI Dermatics, a startup concentrated on skincare products, raised $5 million in a new funding round. Investors included Trevi Health Ventures and Spring Mountain Capital.

AGI makes cosmetic ingredients and is working on developing topical pharmaceutical lotions as well. Its leading drug candidate is called T4N5 Liposome Lotion, which AGI says includes a DNA-repair enzyme intended to repair ultraviolet damage to the skin. The company is currently testing the product as a preventive treatment for skin cancer.

noxxon-logo-150px.gifGermany’s Noxxon gets €1M grant for aptamer drugs — Noxxon, a German biotech aiming to make drugs from nucleic-acid snippets called aptamers, received a grant from Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The €1 million ($1.6 million) grant is intended to support Noxxon’s drug-discovery program, which we covered at greater length last May.

myconostica-logo-150px.gifMyconostica raises £3.9M for fungal diagostics – Myconostica, a U.K. biotech that spun out of the University of Manchester, raised £3.9 million ($7.7 million) in a third funding round, GenomeWeb reports. Investors included Amphion Innovations, Nexus Medical Partners, and Innoven Partenaires.

The company is working on rapid diagnostic tests for life-threatening fungal infections. Its first product is a test for several types of fungal infection that is nearing approval in Europe, and which Myconostica thinks could receive U.S. approval by the fourth quarter.