MADISON, Wis., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Caden Biosciences, Inc., a life sciences tools and services company developing assays for the high-throughput screening of allosteric modulators of G-Protein Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), has closed on a Series A Preferred Stock financing led by Baird Venture Partners (BVP), the U.S.-based venture capital affiliate of investment firm Robert W. Baird & Co. (Baird). BVP was joined in the financing by new investors including Venture Investors, The State of Wisconsin Investment Board, and IllinoisVENTURES, LLC., as well as existing investor Vanderbilt University. Caden will leverage its proprietary platform technology to develop best-in- class assays that will enable its customers in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to identify novel therapeutics for both well characterized and, until now, intractable GPCR targets.
Pete Shagory of BVP and Paul Weiss, PhD, representing the interests of Venture Investors, will join the company's Board of Directors. The company also announced its plan to relocate its headquarters to Madison, Wis.
"Caden Biosciences' technology portfolio is exciting because it provides a universally applicable assay platform for all GPCR signaling pathways. It is also the most rational and definitive approach to finding allosteric modulators of GPCRs," said Bill Checovich, PhD, the company's new President & COO. Dr. Checovich brings to Caden Biosciences 13 years of executive level operations, product development, and commercialization experience in the life sciences tools and services industry, having most recently led operations for Invitrogen's Discovery Solutions business unit in Madison, Wis. "Our unique ability to develop and commercialize discovery assays for each GPCR/G-protein interaction allows us to support the pharmaceutical industry's ongoing commitment to GPCRs."
Previously known as Cue Biotech, Inc., the company's name change and relocation reflect its commitment to exclusively focus on its core business of developing assays and providing solutions to its pharmaceutical industry partners.
"We are extremely pleased to lead this investment in Caden Biosciences, which we believe has a robust and differentiated screening technology that can interrogate specific GPCR targets in a way not previously possible, leading to novel, therapeutically relevant drug candidates," said Pete Shagory, a Partner at BVP. "The pharmaceutical community has long been searching for new methodologies to improve their therapeutic pipelines, especially for GPCRs, and Caden Biosciences' technology addresses the growing industry interest in allosteric modulators. We also feel Madison is an ideal location for the company due to the region's concentration of scientific and operational talent, and the demonstrated success of tools and reagents companies in this community."
About Caden Biosciences
Caden Biosciences technology focuses on G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), the most attractive and well-validated class of protein drug targets. GPCRs have been implicated in every major disease category and sales of existing therapeutics targeting these receptors exceed $40 billion annually. Since its inception in 2000, Caden Biosciences has established collaborations with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies around its unique technology that allows companies to identify modulators of GPCRs. Caden's assays open up new chemical space for receptors already commercialized and addresses GPCRs previously thought intractable, while having the potential to develop drugs with fewer side effects and higher efficacy. For more information, please visit http://www.cadenbiosciences.com .
About Baird Venture Partners
Baird Venture Partners, the U.S.-based venture capital fund of Baird Private Equity, makes investments in early- to growth-stage companies in the Business Services and Healthcare/Life Sciences sectors. Baird Venture Partners leverages its in-depth sector knowledge, experienced investment team and network of relationships to serve as a value-added partner for its portfolio companies. For more information, please visit http://www.bairdventurepartners.com .
Baird Private Equity, the global private equity group affiliated with Robert W. Baird & Co. (Baird), makes venture capital, change-in-control and growth equity investments through Baird Venture Partners and Baird Capital Partners in the United States and through Baird Capital Partners Europe (UK) and Granville Baird Capital Partners (Germany) in Europe. With more than 40 investment professionals in the United States and Europe and 20 operating professionals in China, Baird Private Equity has raised and managed $1.7 billion in capital. Baird Private Equity's operating team in China, located in three offices, focuses on facilitating and executing Asia sourcing, manufacturing and distribution opportunities for portfolio companies. The group's investments are supported by Baird's full range of financial advice, operating expertise and industry research, providing a unique full-service approach to the entire private equity investment process.
About Venture Investors
Venture Investors is a provider of seed and early stage venture capital with a principal focus on companies formed to commercialize technologies developed at leading research universities in the Midwest. Formed in 1982 and based in the MGE Innovation Center in University Research Park for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Venture Investors manages over $150 million. Venture Investors provides its portfolio companies with access to a broad range of expertise through its team of partners that have a combination of venture capital, entrepreneurial, and operating experience at stages of development ranging from company formation through initial public offering. For more information, please visit http://www.ventureinvestors.com .
IllinoisVENTURES is a seed and early-stage technology investment firm focused on research-derived companies in information technologies, physical sciences and life sciences, with a particular emphasis on those deriving from research conducted at the University of Illinois and other regional research institutions. IllinoisVENTURES works with inventors & entrepreneurs to mold concepts, vision, intellectual property, sweat and passion into breakthrough, high-growth companies, and was recently named by Entrepreneur magazine to its 2005 list of the top 100 venture capital firms nationally for entrepreneurs. For more information, please visit http://www.illinoisventures.com .
Source: Baird Venture Partners
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