Alnara rises from Altus' ashes

Just 16 months after raising $20 million in its first round of funding, Massachusetts-based Alnara Pharmaceuticals says it's preparing an NDA for its cystic fibrosis treatment. It's a drug that was once held by the now-defunct Altus Pharmaceuticals, which was the victim of the economic crisis that started in 2008. During that time the company went into a free-fall that eventually landed it in Fierce's 2009 Biotech Graveyard.

Before its demise, Altus transferred the rights to its CF drug Trizytek (liprotamase) to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics. Alnara Pharmaceuticals president and CEO Alexey Margolin was a veteran of Altus and had worked on the Trizytek program during his time at the company. After leaving Altus, he founded Alnara and bought the exclusive worldwide rights to liprotamase from CFFT. "We never thought we would work on this drug program again, but the CF Foundation felt that was best positioned to move it forward quickly," Alnara CBO and former Altus employee Bob Gallotto tells Mass High Tech.

Margolin's company ramped up quickly, hiring 35 laid-off Altus employees who'd worked on the liprotamase program. The drug will be submitted to the FDA shortly, and the company hopes to have an approval in hand in six to 10 months.

- read the Mass High Tech article