Startups, Venture Capital

Eli Lilly-backed Symic raises $30M round as it preps for a pivotal trial

Ken Horne

Symic Bio has some big goals set out for the next year. There’s a registration trial to prepare for on the lead program, more work on their other clinical-stage program and preclinical efforts that need to move closer to human studies. And now there’s a $30 million round to pay for these next steps, bringing their total haul over the last three years to $73 million.

The San Francisco-based biotech’s focus is on matrix biology, developing a technology out of Purdue’s bioengineering group that can promote healing after vascular surgery or tamp down on inflammation — and thereby pain — triggered by osteoarthritis.

Symic’s $15 million A round drew in a group of investors that included Eli Lilly, which also came back for the latest raise, CEO Ken Horne tells me. The fundraising this time included Heda Ventures out of China, he adds, which should help broaden the biotech’s range of contacts in Asia.

Phase III on the lead probably won’t get underway until later next year, says the CEO, which will give the company some time to consider how it raises more cash. That time horizon could be adjusted by a few factors.

“It depends on how aggressive we are in partnership conversations,” says the CEO, “which are ongoing.” A three-year runway would be aggressive, but there should be enough cash on hand to get through the next 18 months to two years without a lot of outside help.

After that, everything is on the table, including a potential IPO, if the stars align for the company and its 40 staffers. Scott Morrison, a retired Ernst & Young partner, was brought on the board to help advise on that score.


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