Archive for Tuesday, August 15, 2000

CyDex receives boost

August 15, 2000


An Overland Park pharmaceutical company with Kansas University ties is getting a financial injection to help expand use of its most effective product.

CyDex Inc. announced that four venture-capital firms had pumped $10 million into the company to help expand the market for Captisol, a drug-delivery compound originally formulated at KU's Higuchi Biosciences Center for Drug Delivery Research.

Peter Higuchi, president and chief executive officer, said the money would help CyDex develop new products for Captisol, which has been licensed to Pfizer, Allergan, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Daiichi Pharmaceutical and Peptichemio.

The compound already has been licensed for use in prescription eye drops, an antifungal compound and a treatment for schizophrenia. Now CyDex is working on Captisol formulations for drugs either already off patent or soon to be open for competition.

"We are excited about the potential for both broader commercialization of the Captisol technology and for the opportunity to bring complementary new technologies into CyDex," he said.

Privately held CyDex formed in 1993, spun off from the Higuchi center to continue development of Captisol. KU retains ownership of nearly 40 percent of CyDex, while private investors hold the rest.

The company has 13 employees.

The four investors added during the latest round of financing:

  • TVM Techno Venture Management, an affiliate of TVM IV GmbH & Co. KG in Munich, Germany. The fund put up $5 million of the $10 million offering, said Christine Dixon, CyDex's finance manager.
  • VBTC Management Ltd., a fund managed by Bank Vontobel in Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Clariden Investment Guernsey as custodian for The Biotechnology Fund, managed by Clariden Bank in Zurich.
  • A private individual, whose name was not disclosed.

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