Beyond Genomics Inc. said it intends to use portions of the $11 million raised this week in its second round of financing to help pay for drug discovery and research and development.
“We spent the first year and a half of our existence building our System Biology platform, and now we are applying it to our own in-house programs, as well as expanding our commercial partnerships,” Stephen Ober, president of Waltham, Mass.-based Beyond Genomics, told BioWorld Today.
Founded in November 2000, BG and its staff of 40 have developed technology that allows it to provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of health and disease by analyzing samples and integrating data at the gene, protein and metabolite levels.
“We actually take very complex samples whether they are animal models or human samples and we do gene expression work,” Ober said. “We do all the proteomic work in-house with novel technologies that we’ve transferred from universities. We also have a relationship with TNO Pharma and the University of Leiden [both of the Netherlands]. They do all of our metabolite work. We take the results of those profiles, integrate that knowledge, and we are able to find novel mechanisms of diseases much more quickly than current technology.”
Privately held BG’s current research focuses on Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis and oncology.
Even though it has been in business only for a short period, BG entered its first joint venture last year, with Dublin, Ireland-based Elan Corp. plc. The two-year program seeks to identify biomarkers and drug targets useful for the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Elan made a $5 million equity investment in BG in the agreement. Other financial details were not disclosed.
Last fall, BG licensed a patented technology for high-throughput protein analysis, called Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry (IMMS), from the Advanced Research & Technology Institute at Indiana University with the plan to incorporate IMMS into its Systems Biology platform.
Beyond Genomics was co-founded by NewcoGen, a unit of NewcoGen Group Inc., also of Cambridge, and received $5.5 million in Series A funding from NewcoFunds and OneLiberty Ventures. Since its inception, the company has raised a total of $21 million, including the $5 million investment by Elan. New investors in the $11 million round were AGTC Funds/Flagship Ventures, of Cambridge, Mass., and Gilde Investment Management, also of the Netherlands.
Of the financing, Ober said, “In this market, we think to raise $11 million the way we did is an endorsement of what the venture folks think of Beyond Genomics and post-genomic biotechnology.”