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GEN News Highlights : Mar 12, 2009

Kenta Secures $10M to Advance Antibodies against Nosocomial Infections

Company will be able to continue Phase II trials with one candidate and advance another compound into the clinic.

Kenta Biotech raised CHF 12 million, or approximately $10 million, in a series B private financing round. The funds will go toward the ongoing development of two antibodies targeting aggressive bacteria that cause nosocomial infections.

The firm's lead compound, KBPA 101, is an IgM antibody against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which is currently in Phase IIa testing against nosocomial pneumonia in the EU and Switzerland. Meanwhile, KBPA 201 is an IgG antibody targeting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is at the preclinical stage. The company expects that the financing will help advance this compound into the clinic.

"By mid-2009 we are planning to complete our ongoing Phase IIa trial with our lead compound," says Laurence Blazianu, the CBO for Kenta Biotech. After obtaining top-line results, Blazianu expects to search for a deal with a global partner that has a focus on hospital care and a sales force addressing intensive care specialists.

Kenta uses its MAblgX technology to develop its pipeline of therapies, which will eventually be marketed toward treating hospital-acquired infections. The fully human mAbs reportedly target the causative organisms, thereby activating and boosting the patient's immune system.