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Phenomix Closes $40M Series B Round of VC Financing ...

NEW YORK, May 24 (GenomeWeb News) - Phenomix has closed a $40 million Series B round of private equity funding, the company said today.


Phenomix will use the cash "to advance [its] therapeutic programs in metabolic syndrome and immune disease," the company said. The investment brings to $65.5 million the company has raised to date.


New investors JPMorgan Partners and Delphi Ventures co-led the financing. Baker Brothers Investments, Alta Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, Bay City Capital, CMEA Ventures, GBS Venture Partners, and Novartis BioVenture Fund contributed to the round.


The company was founded by the Genome Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, the Medical Genome Centre of the AustralianNationalUniversityin Canberra, and Baylor College of Medicine. Its first round of financing closed in the spring of 2002.


Phenomix's so-called "forward genetics" approach is to develop and screen physiological models for common diseases, and then identify genes relevant to the disease. Last summer, the company signed a deal to help Genentech identify and prioritize drug targets for the treatment of immune disorders.


Under the terms of the multi-year deal, Phenomix will use its forward genetics technology to identify new disease targets in immunology. Genentech will have the exclusive global rights to develop therapeutics using the targets, while Phenomix retains the rights to develop undisclosed products based on certain targets.


Phenomix said it will receive an upfront fee and an equity investment from Genentech, as well as research funding and milestones. Additional terms were not disclosed.