Inotek Given $20M Injection

Three years later, that company, Inotek Pharmaceuticals moved to Massachusetts. Over the years, the doctors who founded the company pumped more than $35 million into Inotek, along with grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH).

The Beverly, Mass.-based pharmaceutical developer announced last week that it closed a Series A round of venture funding for $20 million. The Series A financing was co-led by Care Capital, Rho Ventures and MedImmune Ventures.

Also investing in the round were the company’s three founding doctors, Andrew Salzman, who serves as president and CEO, as well as Garry Southan and Csaba Szabo, who both serve as vice presidents. The three also sit on the board.

Care Capital partner Jerry Karabelas says the three venture investors put in nearly equal amounts into the round.

The company began raising its Series A round about one year ago. While neither the company nor its investors would disclose the valuation of the round, PE Week has learned that the post-money valuation is between $50 million and $75 million.

So far, Inotek has two products in Phase II clinical trials: INO-1001, a nuclear cell death inhibitor, and GED, an anti-inflammatory product. The company has four other compounds that will move into Phase I clinical trials over the next two years and several other compounds in the later stages of research.

Karabelas says he was won over by the company’s “extremely rich” group of products.

The company has between 60 and 70 employees and expects to have more than 100 employees within the next 18 months, says Jeffrey Walsh, vice president of corporate development and commercial planning.

But Karabelas says that Inotek’s greatest challenge over the next year will be to determine which compounds to put into clinical trials. Clinical trials are expensive and having products in clinical trials that do not have broad enough applications can be damaging to a company, he says.

Any future funding the company does will be largely determined by what it achieves in its clinical trials, he notes.

“This company could be very close to public market access, pending the results of these clinical trials and results of other products,” says Karabelas.

In comparison, this year has seen some larger-than-life pharmaceutical deals, such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ $250 million Series B round and Aspreva Pharmaceuticals $57 million Series A.