May 19, 2014

Proteon Therapeutics wins $45 million financing round

A biotechnology firm founded in Kansas City 2001 will proceed with clinical trials of its signature drug, thanks to $45 million in equity financing. Proteon Therapeutics is working to a solve a common problem for patients on kidney dialysis.

Proteon Therapeutics, a biotechnology firm founded in Kansas City, has obtained $45 million in equity financing that includes $25 million to proceed with a Phase III clinical trial.

The privately owned firm, now based in Waltham, Mass., has developed a drug designed to reduce blood vessel blockage in dialysis patients who have chronic kidney disease.

Blockage is a common problem for people who have had surgery to create a dialysis access site known as an arteriovenous fistula.

The drug, PRT-201, has been in development for a decade. Proteon was founded in 2001 by Nicholas Franano and Bill Whitaker, who launched the enterprise with $50,000.

Novartis AG, a pharmaceutical giant, had considered but declined to exercise a $550 million option agreement to buy Proteon this year.

The new financing round was led by Abingworth LLP, an investment group focused on life science and health care firms.

Other participants were Deerfield Management Co., an investment management firm; and Pharmstandard International S.A., a holding company by OJSC Pharmstandard.

Also included were existing investors TVM Capital; Prism VentureWorks, Skyline Ventures, Intersouth Partners, MPM Capital, Devon Park Bioventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Vectis Healthcare and Life Sciences Fund.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to

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