Viagene, a spinoff of San Diego-based Gensia Pharmaceuticals, recently raised $1 million in its first round of venture capital financing, according to Gensia President David F. Hale.
The company, founded early in 1987 to develop and commercialize new drugs that utilize "flexible gene delivery technology," drew funding from Domain Partners, Biotechnology Investments Ltd., 3i Ventures and Fairfield Venture Partners.
Gensia spun off Viagene "because when we looked at our priorities at Gensia, this technology ranked down at the bottom," Hale said Monday. The venture funding will help Viagene remain competitive with competitors that will surface during coming months, Hale said.
Gensia will retain a "substantial equity position" in the newly formed company, Hale said.
Late in November, Gensia completed a $9.7-million round of venture capital funding that will be used to open a European subsidiary. Founded in 1986, Gensia is developing DNA-based drugs to treat a variety of diseases, including cardiovascular ailments.