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GEN News Highlights : Nov 11, 2010

Syntaxin Raises £18M to Progress Clostridium Neurotoxin-Based Secretion Inhibitor Pipeline

Firm aims to take lead acromegaly candidate into clinical proof-of-concept trials.

Biotech firm Syntaxin raised £18 million (just over $29 million) in a Series C funding round with new and existing investors. The new investors include Lundbeckfond Ventures, Ipsen, and Seventure. These have joined existing investors Abingworth, SROne, LSP, Johnson & Johnson Develpment, and Quest. Syntaxin aims to use the funds to progress its Targeted Secretion Inhibitor (TSI) technology platform and take its lead in-house acromegaly program into clinical proof of concept trials.

The firm is exploiting its technology platform to develop recombinant cell secretion inhibitors against a range of endocrine diseases, CNS disorders such as neuropathic pain, and potentially cancer. The technology is based on endopeptidase activity found within Clostridium bacteria neurotoxins, which cleaves SNARE proteins and inhibits vesicular cell secretion. The firm claims its resulting engineered TSI molecules are selectively able to deliver an endopeptidase into defined target cells and specifically cleave SNARE proteins that drive cell secretion.

Syntaxin’s only clinical-stage product is a pain therapy candidate, which is being developed in collaboration with Allergan, and has completed Phase I studies. Syntaxin’s lead in house acromegaly candidate SXN101959 is currently in preclinical development.