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Cambridge-based Ligon Discovery Raises $1M in Seed Funding
Date:11/19/2009

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Ligon Discovery, Inc., which uses proprietary small molecule microarray technology to find drugs against high-value targets, today announced that it has raised $1M in seed financing led by incTANK Ventures. The company will use the capital to complete its initial discovery campaign that will screen over 100 high-value disease protein targets. With this investment, incTANK Ventures General Partner Christian Bailey joins the board.

Patrick Kleyn PhD, Angela Koehler PhD and Benjamin Ebert MD PhD founded Ligon Discovery with an exclusive license to technology invented at Harvard University and already successfully used to find novel drug compounds at the Broad Institute.

Christian Bailey, General Partner at incTANK Ventures, commented, "Ligon represents a rare combination: although it is an early-stage company, its patented technology has already chalked up some significant drug discovery successes which big pharma companies are now pursuing."

"Ligon's technology has already been used to discover drug compounds against high value targets including protein kinases, histone deacetylases, extracellular growth factors, and transcription factors," said Patrick Kleyn, Ligon's CEO and co-founder. He added, "These compounds were subsequently validated by follow-up assays and results have been published in journals such as Nature, Nature Chemical Biology, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society."

"Ligon is a terrific example of how research at one of Massachusetts' leading academic institutions can be commercialized, leading to new jobs and new therapies that help patients," said Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the agency charged with implementing the state's ten-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative. "Translating research from our world-class colleges and universities into early stage companies and life-saving products is what makes Massachusetts the hub for innovation in the life sciences."

About Ligon Discovery

Ligon Discovery is a Harvard spinout that leverages a patented platform technology to identify pre-clinical drug candidates. The company's high-throughput microarray "chip" transforms the speed of the drug discovery process and expands the scope of new drug prospecting to include previously intractable targets. The team has deployed the SMM technology, originally invented at Harvard University and further developed at the Broad Institute (founded by MIT and Harvard University) in Cambridge, and has established one of the largest small molecule screening capabilities in the industry. Using this facility, Ligon has successfully completed screens in the fields of coagulation and cancer, and is actively pursuing drug discovery in other areas of high unmet medical need. For more information, visit www.ligondiscovery.com.

About incTANK Ventures

incTANK Ventures invests in Boston area technology ventures with strong intellectual property and compelling market opportunities emerging from premier universities and research institutions. Funded innovations are often inter-disciplinary and span the applied sciences including biotechnology, life sciences, materials science, and computational science. Existing portfolio companies include Agrivida, which applies genomic technology to sugar/biofuel production, and AgaMatrix, which applies audio signal processing technologies to blood glucose monitoring. For more information, visit www.inctank.com.

About the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is a quasi-public agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts tasked with implementing the Massachusetts Life Sciences Act, a ten-year, $1 billion initiative that was signed into law in June of 2008. The Center's mission is to create jobs in the life sciences and support vital scientific research that will improve the human condition. This work includes making financial investments in public and private institutions that are advancing life sciences research, development and commercialization as well as building ties between sectors of the Massachusetts life sciences community. For more information, visit www.masslifesciences.com.

SOURCE Ligon Discovery, Inc.


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SOURCE Ligon Discovery, Inc.
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