Taligen gets $10M cash injection for rare disease programs

Taligen Therapeutics has hit another milestone on its journey in search of new therapies for a broad array of inflammatory and immune diseases. The Cambridge, MA-based developer has snagged a $10 million tranche in its $65 million Series B, earmarking much of the money for early clinical stage development work for its lead candidate - TT30.

Taligen set out to prove its drug platform could regulate the "complement system," a pathway in the human immune system. And it has initially zeroed in on rare diseases like paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, CEO Abbie Celniker tells FierceBiotech, in part because a small biotech acting alone can mount the kind of tightly-focused clinical trials that can generate significant proof of concept data.

Taligen's strategy, she adds, is to strike partnership deals for ophthalmology-related conditions such as age-related macular degeneration and later, after it achieves the proof of concept stage, plan on collaborative programs for major market diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis. The CEO says she hopes to announce the developer's first partnership in the next six months.

"This round of funding demonstrates the significant progress we have made over the last several years related to the development of our proprietary tissue targeting platform technology and our lead drug candidate, TT30," said Celniker. Existing investors including Clarus Ventures, Alta Partners, Sanderling Ventures and High Country Venture proffered the new injection of cash. Taligen was founded in 2004 and has a staff of 17 fulltime equivalents. Celniker says the staff will likely top out at about 20.

- here's the Taligen release