12:00 AM
 | 
Apr 12, 2010
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Altheos Mines its Rho-lodex

Newco Altheos wins deal for glaucoma compounds from Japanese pharma Asahi Kasei

After concluding that all the interesting new projects in the U.S. and Europe had been picked over, the founders of Altheos Inc. turned to Asia to find assets for in-licensing. Based on the strength of their relationships with Asahi Kasei Pharmaceutical Corp., their experience with ophthalmic products and their willingness to forgo other projects they'd been evaluating, they were able to secure rights to what they believe to be best-in-class topical Rho kinase inhibitors for glaucoma.

Altheos also closed a $20 million series A round on the same day last week, which helped convince Asahi Kasei of the biotech's ability to focus on developing the compounds, according to President and CSO M. (Ken) Kengatharan.

Kengatharan and CEO Henry Hsu, Altheos' co-founders, are serial entrepreneurs who most recently worked together at neurology and ophthalmic company CoMentis Inc. They left CoMentis last year to start a newco.

"We were ready to move on and liked working with each other, so we basically went through...

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