Argos and miRagen add new venture rounds to back R&D efforts

Just a few weeks after giving up on its IPO, Durham, NC-based Argos Therapeutics rounded up a $25 million D round to pay for a late-stage study of a renal cell carcinoma therapy slated to begin later this year. Forbion Capital led the round, with TVM Capital, Lumira Capital, Intersouth Partners, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, Morningside Group, and Aurora Funds chipping in cash.

"With this latest round of financing Argos is well positioned to execute its business strategy and move forward with the planned Phase III ADAPT study of its lead product candidate, AGS-003," said Jeff Abbey, president and chief executive officer of Argos. "We recently presented updated results at the 2012 ASCO Genitourinary Cancers Symposium from a Phase II study of AGS-003 demonstrating prolonged survival in newly diagnosed, metastatic RCC patients. Importantly, we also demonstrated that our intended mechanism of action, the induction of memory T cells, significantly correlated with improved overall survival. The Phase III ADAPT study is designed to confirm these positive results and demonstrate that AGS-003 may be an effective, safe and readily combinable therapeutic option for patients with metastatic RCC."

Boulder, CO-based miRagen Therapeutics, meanwhile, announced that it raised $20 million to fund its work on new microRNA therapies. Remeditex Ventures led this round with Atlas Venture, Boulder Ventures Ltd., Amgen Ventures, and Broadview Ventures contributing as well. Atlas Venture's Bruce Booth, chairman of the biotech, applauded miRagen's capital efficiency.

The biotech also announced this morning that it hired the veteran developer Arthur Levin as its EVP of R&D. Levin has more than 30 years' experience in the industry.

- read the release from Argos
- here's the release from miRagen on their new round
- get the release from miRagen on their new hire