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Forward Ventures announced last week that it has led the $24 million Series A financing of Tioga Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.

Tioga Pharmaceuticals is engaged in the development of novel therapies for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. Tioga is developing asimadoline, a proprietary small molecule, for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and post operative ileuses. Forward Ventures founded Tioga and was joined in the Series A by New Leaf Venture Partners and BB Biotech Ventures II. The capital will be used to fund a 600 patient phase IIb clinical trial for irritable bowel syndrome and a 130 patient phase IIa trial for post operative ileuses.

Dr. Allen Mangel, Tioga�s Chief Medical Officer and the former worldwide head of gastrointestinal clinical development at GlaxoSmithKline, stated: �I am excited to be leading the clinical development of asimadoline. I believe this is the most promising medicine in development today for the treatment of IBS.�

Asimadoline is a proprietary small molecule therapeutic discovered and developed by Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany. Tioga has acquired all rights to asimadoline from Merck. The compound has been tested in nearly 800 subjects and demonstrated a promising safety profile. It has shown encouraging clinical efficacy for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and has the potential for treating other gastrointestinal diseases.

About Forward Ventures
Forward Ventures is Southern California�s largest venture fund focused exclusively on life sciences. Forward invests in early, mid and late stage biopharmaceutical and device companies.