TODAY’S HEADLINES:

fovea-logo-150px.gifFovea Pharma sees €30M for eye drugs — Paris-based Fovea Pharmaceuticals, a biotech focused on eye disease, raised €30 million ($44 million) in a second funding round. Investors included Forbion Capital Partners, Sofinnova Partners, Abingworth, GIMV, the Wellcome Trust and CAPE.

Fovea’s lead drug candidates address a variety of ophthalmic conditions, including chronic allergic conjunctivitis and two types of macular edema. The company said the proceeds will allow it to begin mid-stage, phase II human tests of three drugs for these conditions.

ascendis-logo-150px.gifAscendis Pharma raises €18M for time-release drugs — Ascendis Pharma, a Danish specialty pharma with a new trick for making time-release versions of existing drugs, raised €17.6 million ($25.8 million) (PDF) in a first funding round. Investors included Sofinnova Partners, Gilde Healthcare Partners and Zweite TechnoStart Ventures Fonds.

Ascendis also announced the acquisition of Complex Biosystems, a German biotech with technology for enhancing the effectiveness of protein-based drugs. Complex Biosystems will apparently become the research arm of Ascendis, which sort of raises the question of what sort of research the company was conducting prior to the acquisition.

The startup has developed what it calls a novel chemical “linkage” technology that reversibly binds and disables a “carrier” molecule. Apparently that linkage degrades in a predictable fashion, effectively releasing active drug in a time-controlled fashion. Ascendis hasn’t said much about its drug candidates except to note that they address a wide range of disease, including diabetes, neurological disorders and heart disease.

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