MiRagen captures a $41M round for a pair of microRNA trials

Boulder, CO-based miRagen Therapeutics has scooped up a $41 million C round designed to get its lead microRNA drugs into the clinic in the hunt for some convincing proof-of-concept data.

Merck's MRL Ventures and JAFCO Co. co-led the round, with help from other new investors Brace Pharma Capital and MP Healthcare Venture Management. Existing investors Atlas Venture, Boulder Ventures, Remeditex Ventures, Amgen Ventures and others also pitched in, with MRL President Joshua Resnick joining the biotech's board.

That's enough cash to launch clinical studies for MRG-106 and MRG-201 this year.

MiRagen is a 2012 Fierce 15 company. That award followed a $45 million upfront the biotech garnered in its first big partnership with Servier. At the time, the biotech was closely focused on a preclinical program for heart disease--a daunting target for any biotech. Since then it has prioritized other programs for hematological malignancies and fibrosis, asserting that microRNA drugs can effectively target a variety of diseases.

"We have made significant advances in translating cutting-edge science into important new medicines," said William Marshall, the chief executive officer of miRagen. "With this new investment, the team at miRagen has the financial resources to advance two product candidates into clinical development that offer potentially transformative therapies for patients who suffer from hematological malignancies and pathological fibrosis."

- here's the release

Special Report: FierceBiotech's 2012 Fierce 15 - MiRagen Therapeutics