Biotech vets target $43M round to debut new antifungal venture

One week before Cubist ($CBST) celebrated the FDA's approval of Sivextro, an antibiotic that figured prominently in its $707 million buyout of a biotech named Trius, the biotech's former CEO filed papers with the SEC outlining a $30 million raise for a new antifungal venture currently called K2 Therapeutics along with $6 million in funds to buy new assets.

Jeff Stein has made no secret about K2--it's listed on his LinkedIn resume. But so far the San Diego-based biotech has kept a distinctly low profile. The SEC paperwork, though, shows that he's been busy. And in classic biotech startup fashion, Stein has joined an experienced group of executives and venture players to get this one launched.

K2 has raised $30,332,199 of a planned $42.7 million raise, according to their Form D, which was first reported by Xconomy. In addition to Stein, the venture's group of insiders includes co-founder and acting CSO Kevin Judice, the former CEO of Achaogen, along with 5AM Ventures partners Kevin Forrest and Scott Rocklage. The insiders also include two more experienced biotech players: Dan Burgess, who ran the San Diego-based antibiotic developer Rempex before its sale last December, and ex-Cadence CEO Ted Schroeder, who sold his San Diego company to Mallinckrodt last February for $1.3 billion in cash. Two more venture players--Patrick Heron of Frazier Healthcare and Nina Kjellson of Interwest Partners--are also listed as directors in the Form D.

Stein has been playing a leading role in pushing for new legislation that would encourage more antibiotic development through new incentives aimed at beefing up the thin pipeline of programs now in the clinic.

There was no immediate response from Stein when FierceBiotech queried him about the new company, though Xconomy's Bruce Bigelow reported that he said he was holding back until he could put out a release next week, which will include a new name for the fledgling, though now well-heeled, biotech.

- here's the Form D