Noxxon Pharma AG has struggled to raise funds since 2002, but last week it cashed in on a 2006 deal with Pfizer Inc. and recent preclinical proof of principle for its two lead Spiegelmer molecules with a E37 million ($50.5 million) series C round. The money will get its first compound through Phase II trials.

Denis Lucquin of Sofinnova Partners, which co-led the round with TVM Capital, said Sofinnova was attracted by the technology. "They now have preclinical proof of concept that they can solve one of the major drawbacks of aptamers, which is that they are unstable molecules," he said. "This is completely new chemistry, and we think they are building mirror images of these molecules in a very smart and well-protected way."