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Antibiotics player Rib-X lines up $67.5M round to fuel PhIII

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2011 Fierce 15 winner Rib-X will start off 2013 with a substantial cache of cash in the bank. The biotech says it landed the first tranche of a $67.5 million venture round, with the second tranche expected to wrap around the end of 2012.

The money will be used to fund the late-stage program for delafloxacin, an antibiotic designed to treat acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections. Vatera Healthcare Partners led the round, which included existing shareholders Warburg Pincus, ABS Ventures and Vox Equity Partners.

"We are entering an exciting phase as a company, as we continue to advance development of an urgently needed new antibiotic treatment option to patients," said CEO Mark Leuchtenberger. "With this financing, we plan to initiate the Phase III program for delafloxacin, which performed successfully in Phase IIb against all endpoints, including the new objective endpoints issued by the FDA. Delafloxacin has consistently demonstrated its broad utility as a well-tolerated, broad spectrum antibiotic that effectively targets resistant pathogens. The recently granted QIDP designation from the FDA means delafloxacin will receive priority review and is eligible for fast-track status. Furthermore, if approved, this designation gives delafloxacin an additional five years of market exclusivity in the U.S."

Leuchtenberger told the Hartford Courant that the first trial will cost about $33 million. A second Phase III trial would be needed before the company can file for an aproval. Rib-X tried to float an IPO earlier this year but scuttled it after deciding that the market conditions weren't right.

The company has traveled a long, hard road to reach where it is today. Rib-X was founded in 2000, and over the years its research team has been working on perfecting a new class of antibiotics that exploits its expertise with crystallography technology to better understand its target--the ribosome--and design broad-spectrum antibiotics that worked in the lab. Now, several product generations into the game, the company has lured in Sanofi with its RX-04 discovery program.

- here's the press release
- read the story from The Courant

Special Report: Rib-X Pharmaceuticals - 2011 Fierce 15

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