Based: San Diego
Raised: $37.7 million
Investors: Aisling Capital, Column Group, OrbiMed Advisors, Topspin Partners, and an undisclosed investor.
The scoop: After San Diego-based Aragon Pharmaceuticals wrapped its early-stage work on their anti-androgen prostate cancer drug ARN-509 with some encouraging indications of its impact on tumors, the biotech married up with a nontraditional investor to round up Series C cash. A group called the Topspin Fund, headed by one-time hedge fund wiz Jim Simons, put up half of the cash, which should get the developer through the crucial proof-of-concept stage and on the way to a potential partnership deal. Aragon's lead drug has been compared often to MDV-3100 at Medivation, which in fact has filed suit against UCLA claiming that their IP deal should cover 509 as well. "The lawsuit alleges that ARN-509 is a close analog of MDV3100, and was invented in the same laboratory at the academic institution from which we licensed MDV3100," noted a spokesperson from Medivation recently.