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Featured companies: AvidBiotics, Codexis, Imalux, Myomo

UPDATED: Expanded items on AvidBiotics and Codexis.

avidbiotics-logo.jpgAvidBiotics raises $1M for anti-infective drugs — AvidBiotics, a South San Francisco, Calif., biotech developing a new generation of antibacterial proteins, raised $1 million in a first funding round, VentureWire reports (subscription required). The company didn’t disclose its investors.

AvidBiotics is using a new type of protein engineering to develop molecules that can successfully attack drug-resistant bacterial. That engineering system relies upon a “diversity generator” that produces a variety of modifications in protein structure that affect the molecules’ ability to bind to and attack various surface molecules on bacteria. Screening the new proteins created this way allows researchers to identify the ones with the best drug-like properties. The idea is similar in certain respects to “combinatorial chemistry,” an attempt to harness an evolution-like mechanism in the development of small-molecule drugs.

The company’s first target is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic bacteria that attacks immunocompromised tissues. It can cause infections of the skin, the urinary tract, the digestive system, and many other organ systems.

codexis-logo.jpgBiocatalysis firm Codexis adds $600K to recent funding — Codexis, a Redwood City, Calif., developer of biocatalytic processes for manufacturing of biofuels, pharmaceuticals and other products, added $600,000 to its fourth funding round, VentureWire reports, citing a regulatory filing. Insiders provided the funding.

The new funding is in addition to the company’s $37 million fourth round, which we noted here. In July, Codexis acquired Biocatalytics, an enzyme maker also focused on — you guessed it — biocatalysis. Our coverage, which goes into a little more detail about the business, is here.

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