Phase­Bio rais­es $34M to test or­phan dis­ease strat­e­gy — fo­cus­ing first on As­traZeneca drug

Af­ter spend­ing the past three years repo­si­tion­ing it­self as an or­phan dis­ease-fo­cused biotech, Phase­Bio is ready to roll with a fresh $34 mil­lion raise.

The Malvern, PA-based com­pa­ny owes its name to its elastin-like polypep­tides plat­form tech­nol­o­gy, which cre­ates ther­a­peu­tic fu­sion pro­teins that un­der­go a ful­ly re­versible phase tran­si­tion — there­by sig­nif­i­cant­ly ex­tend­ing their half lives.

Phase­Bio once saw an ap­pli­ca­tion for that tech in di­a­betes as well as car­dio, at­tract­ing phar­ma gi­ants As­traZeneca and John­son & John­son’s ven­ture arm, as well as VC play­ers New En­ter­prise As­so­ciates, Hat­teras Ven­ture Part­ners and Fletch­er Spaght Ven­tures for its 2015 Se­ries C, in which it got $40 mil­lion to, among oth­er things, ad­vance a once-week­ly, long-act­ing basal in­sulin.

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