A Cary company developing a new type of antidepressant and other experimental medicines has raised $9 million to continue research on its products.
CeNeRx BioPharma also used some of the money to buy the rights to an early stage compound that could be developed into treatments for degenerative nerve diseases such as Alzheimer's.
The economic downturn "allowed us to bring in a very exciting compound at a reasonable price," said CeNeRx CEO Barry Brand.
CeNeRx bought the rights from Krenitsky Pharmaceuticals, which previously sold CeNeRx the rights to its promising depression treatment known as TriRima. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The company doesn't expect to seek regultory approval for any of its experimental medicines until at least 2012. As it gathers more data from clinical trials with patients, CeNeRx will probably seek a partner, such as a large pharmaceutical company, to help it finish developing and marketing drugs, Brand said
That type of arrangement is common for smaller drug-development companies based in the Traingle that can't afford the costs of getting new drugs into patients' hands. And large pharmaceutical companies are eager to find new medicines with big sales potential.
"Big pharma right now is very hungry for products," Brand said. "We have had a fair amount of interest."
CeNeRx has a small work force and hires out much of its research and clinical testing. The company, founded in 2005, has raised about $42 million to date.
The latest funding includes $4 million from existing investors Pappas Ventures of Research Triangle Park, Aisling Capital and L capital Partners. Another $5 million is a type of loan from MidCap Financial in Maryland.