VCs inject $29M into Syntaxin, $11.5M into Ceregene

The U.K.'s Syntaxin has gained a $29 million injection of cash with some considerable contributions from the corporate venture crowd. Newcomers Lundbeckfond Ventures, Ipsen and Seventure joined existing investors Abingworth, SROne, LSP, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation and Quest in the Series C for the developer, which is advancing a pain therapy in collaboration with Allergan.

Syntaxin's development platform is built on cell secretion technology. The developer believes it can deliver long-lasting treatments that can prevent secretion locally and systemically, targeting a range of diseases like neuropathic pain, endocrine disorders such as acromegaly, and certain types of cancers.

"This has been transformational year for Syntaxin. We have an innovative technology platform[,] which offers enormous potential to develop new treatments for a range of diseases," says Syntaxin CEO Melanie Lee. "This financing will enable us to progress development of our lead product to treat acromegaly and to maximise the potential of our unique technology platform in collaboration with industry partners."

San Diego-based Ceregene, meanwhile, says it pocketed $11.5 million from a Series D venture round while pocketing $733,000 in Therapeutic Discovery Tax Credit cash. Combine that money with support it has gained from the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and Ceregene has the resources to push ahead with a Phase IIb trial of its therapy for Parkinson's disease. Ceregene is also enrolling patients from a mid-stage study of CERE-110 for Alzheimer's.

"We are encouraged by the data we obtained in our last Phase II study in Parkinson's disease[,] which was recently published in the online version of Lancet Neurology and expect to complete the new Phase IIb clinical study by the end of 2012," said Ceregene CEO Jeffrey Ostrove. Hamilton BioVentures and Alta Partners led the round with participation from MPM Capital and Investor Growth Capital.

- check out the release from Syntaxin
- and here's the Ceregene release