Money Flows Into Biotech Startups

Jul. 11, 2010 4:33 AM ETACL-OLD, NVS, INVA
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The Burrill Report
by Marie Daghlian
Money flowed to venture-backed life sciences companies in an otherwise slow week after the Fourth of July holiday. La Jolla (LJPC), California-based Intellikine signed a $488.5 million deal with Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI) for the global development and commercialization rights to its portfolio of oral PI3K inhibitors, including an inflammatory program that will begin clinical trials in 2011.

Intellikine will get $13.5 million in initial license payments, committed research funding for the first two years to identify additional PI3K inhibitors for future development, and up to $450 million in success-based milestones for the development, approval, and commercialization of two distinct products.
Intellikine is keeping an option to convert its royalty rights for oncology products to a 50 percent stake in the profits and development costs.

“This collaboration provides us with significant resources to advance our own TORC1/2 and PI3Kalpha drug candidates,” says Troy Wilson, president and CEO of Intellikine. “The opportunity to co-develop and co-detail PI3Kdelta/gamma drug candidates in oncology with Infinity is a key component of our strategy to build an oncology business."
Intellikine has generated one of the leading pipelines of drug candidates against important therapeutic targets in the PI3K pathway. The company has raised $41 million from investors that include Abingworth, Sofinnova Ventures, CMEA Capital, Novartis Venture Funds, U.S. Venture Partners, Biogen Idec and FinTech Global Capital.
Eye care company Alcon (ACL) is buying laser surgery firm LenSx Lasers for $361.5 million in cash and $362 million contingent on achievement of certain revenue milestones. Based in Aliso Viejo, California, LenSx has developed the first femtosecond laser to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for use as a part of cataract surgery. The innovative LenSx laser platform enables surgeons to perform some of the most delicate manual steps of cataract surgery with image-guided visualization and micron level laser precision.

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