Former Idera chief hunts money to back biotech startup

Stephen Seiler, the former CEO at Idera Pharmaceuticals, is out making the rounds to raise funds for a new biotech startup. Seiler tells Xconomy that he hopes to raise $10 million for a Series A to back Newton, MA-based AesRx. And he's got a lead drug ready to start Phase I for sickle cell disease next year.

"Although it's still pre-clinical, we know a lot about this drug," Seiler tells Ryan McBride. "Therefore we believe our odds of success are better than a random pre-clinical compound." Seiler was also the CEO of Access Pharmaceuticals in Dallas.

Seiler says the small molecule, 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural, is potentially less toxic than existing sickle cell therapies. Current therapies have been linked to a host of serious side effects. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University were the first to discover the molecule's potential therapeutic effect for the disease.

- check out the report from Xconomy