Thesan Pharmaceuticals, a newly-formed biotech focused on dermatological conditions, has closed a $16M Series A financing, co-led by Novo Ventures and Novartis Venture Funds.
Thesan will focus on the development of novel approaches for the treatment of dermatological disorders. The lead drug candidate is a topically-applied new chemical entity expected to enter clinical trials in 2013.
"For many years, drug development in the dermatology field has been dominated by old drugs just re-formulated into more cosmetically appealing foams, gels or lotions," said Gordon Foulkes, executive chairman and CEO, Thesan. "Thesan's mission is to develop new chemical entities with novel mechanisms of action in order to substantially improve treatment outcomes for patients with a variety of dermatological diseases."
The company's first products have been licensed from the University of California, Irvine (UCI). The products have been developed in the laboratory of Daniele Piomelli, the Louise Turner Arnold Chair of Neurosciences at UCI.
"We are very pleased to be part of the investor syndicate behind Thesan," said Peter Bisgaard, partner at Novo Ventures. "We believe Professor Piomelli's work offers a unique opportunity for developing a completely new class of anti-inflammatory agents, which can be moved rapidly into clinical development.”
In connection with the financing, Bisgaard and Tiba Aynechi from Novo, as well as Giovanni Ferrara and Henry Skinner from Novartis, have joined Thesan’s board, along with Dr. Howard Welgus, former vice president of R&D for dermatology/inflammation at Pfizer.