12:00 AM
Dec 22, 2003
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Miikana: The magic path

The formation of Miikana Therapeutics Inc. is the outcome of two experienced orphans looking for a home. When Amgen Inc. stopped funding the Amgen Institute at the University of Toronto in 2002 in order to cut costs, the head of the institute, Tak Mak, talked to VCs about starting a company around his expertise in cancer targets and knockout mice.

Meanwhile, Dinesh Patel, who was senior vice president of drug discovery and licensing at Versicor Inc. (now Vicuron Pharmaceuticals Inc.) (MICU; NMerc:

MICU, King of Prussia, Penn.), had decided that it was time to move on after the company moved its headquarters to Pennsylvania from California. He talked to VCs about forming a company that would create molecules ready for an IND filing - a kind of mini-IND factory.

"What I was missing was targets, and here was Tak with targets," said Patel. "So the VCs did a little matchmaking and that's how Miikana was founded. The name means...

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