12:00 AM
 | 
Aug 09, 2010
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Idun it Again

Conatus reacquires Idun assets from Pfizer, hopes data will attract investors

Five years after selling Idun Pharmaceuticals Inc. to Pfizer Inc., the Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. team has reacquired the assets and believes it can move the programs forward without running into the funding gaps that hobbled Idun.

Last month, Conatus bought the Pharma's Idun Pharmaceuticals subsidiary of Pfizer for an undisclosed sum. The deal reunited Idun with is former management team, which founded Conatus in 2005.

Idun had raised a total of $68.1 million from inception in 1993 before selling out for $250 million in 2005.

In its early years, Idun struggled to raise funds. One of the reasons, former Idun President and CEO Steven Mento told BioCentury, was that it spent the period doing its own drug discovery focused on caspases before it was able to generate the Phase II proof-of-concept data investors wanted to see for lead compound emricasan (IDN-6556, PF-03491390).

Once it had positive Phase II data for the broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor, Idun was able to close the first $27 million tranche of a financing in June 2004, and the company received the second tranche of $38.6 million in 2005. It had about $50 million...

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