Isis spin-off gets a fresh injection of venture funds

Altair Therapeutics, a San Diego-based spin-off developer of new respiratory therapies, has drummed up an additional $7 million in new venture funds to back its work.

Isis and Thomas, McNerney & Partners spawned the company two years ago, creating a new developer that could take Isis' gene-silencing technology and apply it to respiratory ailments. As Xconomy explains, Altair was designed to pursue an inhalable antisense drug that could inhibit IL-4 and IL-13, which play a role in asthma attacks. And early-stage work has provided some validation. The company has now raised $17 million in total, with new funds going to a Phase IIa clinical trial of AIR645.

"Even in the worst market, with the most restricted kind of financing, this would be a good investment," Ivor Royston, a partner with Forward Ventures and Altair board member, tells Xconomy. "This company is in the sweet spot for any venture capital firm." Domain Associates led the round and AgeChem Venture Fund LP joined previous investors Thomas, McNerney & Partners, Forward Ventures and Isis Pharmaceuticals.

- check out Altair's press release
- here's the story from Xconomy

ALSO: Microchip Biotechnologies, which provides integrated systems for microsample preparation and analysis, announced the close of an $18.1M Series B financing. Release