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October 2, 2009

VC Firms, Quaker BioVentures and Medlmmune Ventures Lead $10.75 Million in Series A Funding for Arginetix

Filed under: Venture Capital News — admin @ 5:12 am

Based in Baltimore, Maryland, a biopharmaceurtical innovator, Arginetix announced today that it has closed $10.75 million in series A funding, which was led by both Quaker BioVentures and Medlmmune Ventures. Other investors who participated in this funding round include the Maryland Healthcare Funding Corporation, Osage University Partners, Red Abbey Partners, and the cofounder of Arginetix, Acidophil LLC.

Arginetix is a biopharmaceutical company that is devoted to the development and commercialization of revolutionary medications that can consist of small molecule inhibitors of the enzyme, arginase. Arginase is an enzyme that competes with endothelial nitric oxide synthase for using the common substrate, L-arginine. In theory, elevated argonase in the body will lower the level of L-arginine in the body, which can result in the reduction of necessary oxygen production. What is even more dangerous is that when there is an elevated level of arginase in the body, it can also trigger fibrosis and hyperplasia, which is a result of excellerated cell division.

Proceeds from this round of funding will go to help Arginetix continue its research and in developing one of the first class solutions that inhibit the arginase enzyme. The current inhibitor that Arginetix is developing is to be used in inhibiting both cardiovascular and pulmonary indicators. The scientific foundation of the company’s research is based on the proprietary intellect of Arginetix’s cofounders, Dr. David Christianson, PhD of the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Dan Berkowitz, MD at the John Hopkins University.

According to Arginetix’s CEO and third cofounder, Gary Lessing; this round of funding is a great endorsement for the company and the important research and developments it is doing in working with the arginase enzyme. Mr. Lessing further added that Arginetix is fortunate to be working with a group of investors who are both experienced in the field of molecular biology and talented in both their business strategy and industry knowledge. The fact that both of the company’s new investors have broad experience in developing new drugs and their proven track record of past successes will be a very valuable asset to Arginetix.

According to Dr. Geeta Vemuri, Managing Director of Medlmmune Ventures; Arginetix is currently investigating clinical studies for the treatment of both cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases with its revolutionary molecular solutions. Furthermore, the fact that Arginetix has some innovative solutions to treat cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. This further validates the investment that Medlmmune Ventures has placed in Arginetix.

Devoted to the life science industry in the mid-Atlantic states, Quaker BioVentures is a vc firm that has more than $700 million under its management. The vc firm has led investments in all sectors of the life science industry. Quaker BioVentures invests in all stages of a company’s life. Some other companies in Quaker BioVentures portfolio include Amicus Therapeutics, Biolex, BioRexis, Celator Pharmaceuticals, Cellatope, Cempra, DiscoveryLabs, and others.

Medlmmune Ventures is the vc arm of AstraZaneca Group, which was established to enhance the research, discovery, and commercialization of biotechnology products and solutions. Furthermore, the AstraZaneca Group also provides the funding for such endeavors. Medlmmune Ventures primarily invest in early to late stage companies in the biotech industry. The vc fund invests in both privately owned and publicly traded companies.

For more information about Arginetix, click here.

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