A group of executives who helped guide Dura Pharmaceuticals to a $1.8 billion buyout by Elan five years ago have come back together to create a start-up that has gained $98 million in new financing. Verus Pharmaceuticals announced that it had secured a whopping $78 million in its first round and gained another $20 million in loans. The investors include Domain Associates and Prospect Venture Partners. Verus claimed it was a record sum for a start-up. The biotech plans to skirt the usual time spent in preclinical development, preferring to in-license later stage pediatric drugs with the goal of having a late-stage drug in development by the second half of 2006. Cam Garner, who ran Dura, is CEO of Verus.
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