Calistoga banks $40M Series C for pivotal trial work

Seattle-based Calistoga Pharmaceuticals--a 2009 Fierce 15 company--has banked a $40 million venture round, bringing its four-year take to $100 million. The money will be used to further its lead drug, CAL-101, which throttles cancer cell growth, while pushing another therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and asthma into a mid-stage trial.

Calistoga is focused on a niche of the hot PI3 kinase inhibitor space: delta isoform-selective PI3 inhibitors. The developer has two clinical stage programs with the lead focused on leukemia and lymphoma. In an earlier trial, notes the Seattle Times, some 60 percent of patients with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and 70 percent of mantle cell lymphoma patients responded to CAL-101.

"With over one hundred patients enrolled in clinical trials evaluating CAL-101 over the past year, we are pleased with the impressive clinical results we have observed in these heavily pretreated patients with B cell leukemias and lymphomas, and we look forward to advancing CAL-101 into registration trials," said James Topper, M.D., a general partner with Frazier Healthcare. The financing was led by Quogue Capital and brought back existing investors Alta Partners, Amgen Ventures, Frazier Healthcare and Three Arch Partners. Latterell Venture Partners joined the group as a new investor.

"We are not aware of any other delta selective PI3K inhibitor under clinical evaluation and plan to rapidly advance these programs to capitalize on our leadership position," said CEO Carol Gallagher.

- here's the Calistoga release
- and here's the story from the Seattle Times