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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Six GlaxoSmithKline Researchers Found Phoundry Pharma

Written by: | | Dated: Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based Phoundry Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the completion of its first seed financing on Tuesday. The company raised $500,000, led by Pappas Ventures, and is planning a second tranche for another $500,000 in upcoming months, with hopes of moving to a Series A round.


The company was recently founded by six researchers who were recently laid off from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s Enteroendocrine Discovery Performance Unit. They were part of a round of job cuts that left 900 people at the company’s Research Triangle Park facility out of work.

The six peptide researchers had been thinking of spinning out their own company when GSK’s restructuring gave them a firm push. Led by Paul Feldman, the chief executive officer of the new company, they made a deal with GSK that allowed them to take data and five semitrailers of equipment. In exchange, GSK will get a two-percent royalty on net sales if two of the assets become commercially available drugs.

Feldman was joined by Andrew Young, as chief scientific officer, Ved Srivastava, Mark Paulik, James Way and Shane Roller. Phoundy currently employs two other full-time members and a part-time position.

In terms of experience, the six company founders have been involved in eight drug products, including exenatide, pramlintide and three additional peptide drugs. They have also been involved in more than twenty-four Phase II clinical-stage products.

The company has set up its operations at the Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park.

On June 18, 2015, the company received a $50,000 Company Inception Loan (CIL) for a glucagon project from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. CILs are designed to support business start-ups.

“Building the company in Research Triangle Park has been a key factor in our vision for Phoundry,” said Feldman in a statement. “The support the company has received from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the Hamner Institutes, and the Pappas team in its initial planning and start-up exemplifies the vibrant environment that the RTP biotechnology and entrepreneurial ecosystem provides.”

It is estimated that there are about 60 peptide drugs on the market, including insulin. That represents about 2 percent of all drugs.

An analysis by Octa Finance notes that the form D investment round is not closed yet, observing that companies in the biotechnology sector, on average, sell about 73.77 percent of the total offering size. “The average offering size for companies in the Biotechnology industry is $3.08 million. The offering was 83.77 percent smaller than the average of $3.08 million. Of course this should not be seen as negative. Companies get financed for different reasons and needs.”


August 20, 2015
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Source: BioSpace Featured News

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