Biotech accelerator BioMotiv gets a $20M commitment from new investor

BioMotiv CEO Baiju Shah

A week after Cleveland's nascent biotech accelerator BioMotiv bumped its financial reserves to $46 million, Torrey Pines Investment has stepped in to offer a $20 million commitment and close ties to the Russian drug development industry to back a joint effort to spawn new translational drug efforts around the globe.

In the pact, Torrey Pines Investment will work with its connections in the Russian and the Ukrainian pharma industry to facilitate the R&D networks that BioMotiv is developing. Far from the mainstream of the biotech industry's global hubs, BioMotiv has been piecing together an effort to get new biomedical advances in academia into the clinic, positioning the programs for an out-licensing deal with a biotech or pharma company that can take them the remaining distance to a potential regulatory approval. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and several individual investors have now bumped its capital reserves as BioMotiv scouts for additional capital to complete its fundraising effort.

"Torrey Pines Investment is committed to new models of efficient therapeutic development and thus is an aligned investment partner for BioMotiv," said Baiju Shah, CEO of BioMotiv, in a statement. "In addition, their network provides BioMotiv access to new technology sources and experienced development capabilities. We are pleased to enter this partnership."

In a story for Xconomy back in 2010, Torrey Pines Investment's Nicolay Savchuk explained how the venture group invested in San Diego-based Afraxis, taking an equity stake in the company in exchange for financing preclinical work at a CRO it owns near Moscow. At the time, the venture group said it had raised the first $30 million of a $150 million fund. 

According to its website, San Diego-based Torrey Pines Investment has set up incubators which invest in early-stage assets in oncology, CNS and virology. Shah tells the Cleveland Plain Dealer that BioMotiv is focused on 7 early-stage drug programs, with scientific work under way on 3 of the programs. BioMotiv may be based in Cleveland with an eye to developing a large development platform, but it promises to pursue projects around the globe.  

So far there are few specifics available on just what projects BioMotiv is aiming at.

- here's the press release
- read the story from the Plain Dealer