A year after dealing its Liris bladder treatment to Allergan in a deal worth up to $588 million, Taris Biomedical raised another $32 million to put toward the implant, which is designed to deliver drugs directly to the bladder.
Allergan paid $67.5 million in cash in August 2014 for Liris, a drug-device combination designed to deliver lidocaine to treat interstitial cystitis, or bladder pain syndrome. The deal also included $295 million in development milestones and another $225 million in commercial milestones.
Today Taris said it’s planning to investigate other treatments using the same implant used in Liris, funded with a $32 million round led by prior backer Flagship Ventures, joined by existing investor Polaris Venture Partners and a new backer, RA Capital Management.
“The sale to Allergan of our clinical-stage treatment for interstitial cystitis in 2014 was an important validation of our revolutionary approach to treating bladder diseases,” president & CEO Purnanand Sarm said in prepared remarks. “Since then we have been working hard to build a high value therapeutically-focused urology company on this foundation. This new funding will enable us to launch multiple clinical trials over the next 12 months and further expand our team.”
Taris plans to explore treatments for bladder cancer and overactive bladder segments. Sarma told Xconomy that the bladder cancer drug the company is looking at is off-patent and free to test. The OAB drug, also already in use, would be delivered at a much lower dose, Sarma told the website. Four clinical programs are on tap for 2016, he said, with results due late in the year.
“We could do Allergan-like transactions again and again,” Sarma said.
Taris also built out its board and and clinical operation, naming Flagship Ventures managing partner Ed Kania, former Allergan exec Kevin Finney and ex-Civitas CEO Mark Iwicki to its board. The YY-based company also tapped Dr. Christopher Cutie, M.D., of the Mass. General Hospital, to be vice president of clinical development.
“Taris combines the experience and success of an established company with the agility and sense of mission of a startup. We are pleased to join existing and new finance partners as we help Taris advance its technology to help millions of patients who suffer from bladder diseases,” Kania said.