KineMed, an Emeryville, Calif., biotech working to speed the development of new drugs with its own “translational medicine” technology, raised $15 million in a convertible note offering. Stanford Financial Group led the offering, joined by other existing investors.
KineMed certainly isn’t shy about touting its scientific accomplishments or the uniqueness of its drug-discovery technology. Essentially, the company claims to have developed ways to determine whether drug candidates interfere with basic biological processes using test animals — which, if you think about it, doesn’t sound greatly different from what any other drug company or biotech does. The company does appear to be evaluating drug candidates for heavy hitters like Merck, Roche and Bayer (PDF links), though, so it’s presumably doing something right.
KineMed said the funding will allow it to push its own lead drug candidate, KM-801, into clinical trials against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurodegenerative condition better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Based on animal studies, KineMed claims that KM-801 slows down certain intracellular processes in a way that can “improve both symptoms and survival.” The company plans to begin testing the drug in humans next year.