Aragon Pharmaceuticals

Aragon Pharmaceuticals CEO Richard Heyman

The biotech: Aragon Pharmaceuticals
Round: $50.1 million
Based: San Diego
CEO: Richard Heyman
Investors: Aisling Capital, Column Group, OrbiMed Advisors, Topspin Partners, venBio Partners

The scoop: The prostate cancer field has been a virtual Wild West in terms of drug development. First came Dendreon's ($DNDN) Provenge, a scientific breakthrough that failed to turn in the blockbuster numbers once forecast. Then came Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Zytiga and lastly Medivation's ($MDVN) Xtandi. But Aragon's ARN-509 could roil things once again. Now in Phase II, positive interim data highlighted the potential of this anti-androgen therapy. This year alone, Aragon has raised $88 million in venture funds for its clinical work. ARN-509 came out of the lab of UCLA's Charles Sawyer, the same investigator who helped birth Medivation's newly approved prostate cancer therapy Xtandi. Medivation has filed a lawsuit against UCLA claiming that its pact with the university should have provided the biotech with the rights to 509--but Aragon CEO Richard Heyman has consistently shrugged off the legal claim, maintaining that the university specifically asserted that it was free to strike a separate pact for the drug. Aragon was named a Fierce 15 company this year, ahead of this round.

For more:
Special Report: Aragon Pharmaceuticals - 2012 Fierce 15
Promising prostate cancer data triggers $50M venture haul for Aragon
Aragon raises $42M for closely-watched prostate cancer drug
Aragon Pharma readies first cancer trial after $22M B round

Aragon Pharmaceuticals

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