By Jim Shrine


IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals Inc., with three Phase II trials ongoing, raised $23 million in a private placement to advance development of its drugs for fungal and bacterial infections.

With the Series G financing, the privately held Mountain View, Calif., company has raised $53 million since its founding in 1994. The funds will be used primarily to finish a Phase II trial of IB-367, a rinse for oral mucositis, and two trials of the antibiotic ramoplanin.

"The size and the valuation [indicate] that the company was well-received because it has products far advanced into Phase II," Peter Garcia, IntraBiotics' chief financial officer, told BioWorld Today. "Based upon where the company is and some key milestones coming up, and depending on market conditions, we would look at an initial public offering as our next financing vehicle.

"The investors liked the business model," Garcia said, "in terms of in-licensing products and getting them into Phase II as quickly as possible, and in terms of antibiotic drug development" - an area in which drugs are more likely to be approved and have shorter development time lines, he said.

The financing was led by International Biomedicine Management Partners, of Basel, Switzerland. Other investors were Kaufmann Fund, of New York; Vulcan Northwest Ventures, of Seattle; New England Partners, of Boston; OrbiMed Advisors, of New York; and some Danish investors who prefer to remain anonymous. Placement agents were the Den Danske Bank, of Copenhagen, Denmark; and Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc., of Baltimore.

Lead Drug Partnered With P&U

IB-367 was developed through IntraBiotics' Protegrin program, using host defense peptides that guard against invading bacteria and fungi. The drug is a synthetic analogue of a peptide isolated from white blood cells of pigs.

The lead indication for IB-367 is oral mucositis. The drug is partnered in a co-development, co-profit deal with Pharmacia & Upjohn, of Bridgewater, N.J. (See BioWorld Today, October 30, 1997, p. 1.)

An aerosol formulation of IB-367 is in Phase I testing, targeting respiratory infections.

Ramoplanin is a naturally occurring antibiotic that has shown potent activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, the company said. IntraBiotics licensed U.S. rights to ramoplanin from Biosearch Italia SpA, of Milan, Italy, a spin-off of Hoechst Marion Roussel AG, of Frankfurt, Germany.

Garcia said results from all three Phase II trials are expected by the end of the second quarter.

"The company also has two products in the optimization stage for bacterial and fungal infections," Garcia said, adding that patent issues preclude identifying them.