Excaliard raises $15.5M, inks Isis pact

Excaliard Pharmaceuticals has garnered $15.5 million in a new venture round and spent $1 million to sign Isis onto a development deal. The two biotech companies will focus on new antisense therapies for fibrotic diseases and scarring. On the financing side, Alta Partners, ProQuest Investments, and RiverVest Venture Partners put up the first round. Excaliard made an upfront payment to Isis in the form of equity and paid Isis $1 million cash for the licensing of a particular gene target. In addition, Isis is eligible to receive development milestones and royalties on antisense drugs developed by Excaliard.

"Isis has made superb progress in the development of second-generation antisense drugs over the last few years, as evidenced by its clinical pipeline and current collaborations with companies such as Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Ortho-McNeil among others. Having access to Isis' antisense technology and expertise provides a great opportunity for Excaliard," said J. Gordon Foulkes, Ph.D., acting CEO for Excaliard and Managing Director of RiverVest Venture Partners.

- here's the release for more info
- read this AP report

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