Startup Blaze Bioscience Inc. Nabs $9 Million To Help "Light Up" Cancer Tissue
Published: Dec 03, 2013
Blaze Bioscience Raises $9 million in Series B Financing
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Blaze Bioscience, Inc., the Tumor PaintTM Company, announced today that it has raised $9 million in Series B financing, bringing the total funds raised since inception to $19 million. The round was raised from individual investors, with the majority of funding provided by the company’s Series A investors.
The funds will be used to support the clinical development of Blaze’s first Tumor PaintTM product candidate, BLZ-100, which is designed to assist surgeons in surgical excision of solid tumors by illuminating cancer cells intra-operatively in real time and at high resolution. A Phase 1 clinical trial of BLZ-100 will be initiated shortly. In addition, the company will use proceeds to support development of Optide drug candidates as part of the collaboration and option agreement entered into with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in June of this year.
“We appreciate our investors ongoing support as we continue to meet our goals and advance our BLZ-100 program. Blaze has executed on its aggressive business plan to take Tumor Paint technology from academic lab to the clinic in just over 2 years,” said Heather Franklin, Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blaze Bioscience. “BLZ-100 is the first of what we hope will be a robust pipeline of Optide-based product candidates”.
BLZ-100 is the first product candidate developed from Tumor Paint technology platform. BLZ-100 is a combination of an Optide, which binds and internalizes into cancer cells, and a fluorescent dye, which emits light in the near-infrared range. BLZ-100 is under development for cancer surgery in multiple solid tumor types.
About the Optides Discovery Program
Optides, short for “optimized peptides,” are tiny molecules originally identified in nature and optimized for drug-like properties in the lab. Optides can be instructed to bind to particular kinds of cancer cells, disabling only those cells, or attached to chemotherapy drugs, transforming them into precision therapies that spare healthy cells. Blaze Bioscience entered into a collaboration and option agreement to support Fred Hutch’s Optides Discovery Program and advance drug candidates identified using the platform (Blaze press release). Under the terms of the agreement, Blaze is providing development and commercialization guidance, as well as access to Blaze technology, for Optide drug candidates during the discovery phase at the Hutchinson Center. Blaze has the option to exclusively license commercial rights to Optide drug candidates identified as part of the program.
About Blaze Bioscience
Blaze Bioscience, Inc. is a Seattle-based, privately-held biotechnology company dedicated to developing products that assist physicians in their quest to improve the lives of cancer patients. The company was co-founded by Dr. Jim Olson of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Heather Franklin, a former senior business executive at ZymoGenetics, Inc., to develop and commercialize Tumor Paint technology. Tumor Paint technology is designed to provide real-time, high-resolution intraoperative visualization of cancer cells, enabling better detection and more complete and precise surgical removal of cancer, and has potential applications in a broad array of solid tumor cancers. The first Tumor Paint product candidate, BLZ-100, is under development for cancer surgery in multiple solid tumor types. For additional information, please visit www.blazebioscience.com.
Julie Rathbun, 206-769-9219
Blaze Bioscience, Inc.
Heather Franklin, CEO and President
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