It’s been a bit slow in Seattle venture capital circles in the past few months. But some of the region’s leading biotech investors are doing their part to pick up the pace as Groove Biopharma today is announcing $6 million in second round of financing.
Backers of the company, housed at the biotech business incubator Accelerator Corp., include ARCH Venture Partners, OVP Venture Partners, and WRF Capital. Alexandria Venture Investments and Versant Ventures also participated.
The company, formerly known as Mirina, also announced that David L. McElligott has been promoted to the position of chief scientific officer. McElligott, who joined Groove shortly after it was founded in 2008, is the former senior director of biological sciences at Icos Corp.
Groove is developing technologies to modify the functionality of micro RNA inhibitors, using a system known as Minor Groove Binder Technology (MGB). The company holds licenses on the technology from Elitech for use in therapeutics, with Groove saying that its therapeutic candidates could exhibit “enhanced target selectivity, better potency, and improved pharmacological activity.”
“We believe that the technologies being developed at Groove represents potentially game changing advancements in the field of miRNA delivery as well as other oligonucleotide-based therapeutics,” noted OVP’s Chad Waite in a statement.
The venture capital pace appears to have slowed quite a bit in the fourth quarter in Washington state, especially compared to the summer months when large financing deals were put together for companies such as INRIX, Lockerz and Avalara.
DreamBox Learning pulled in $11 million earlier this month, while NanoString (another OVP deal) landed $20 million and Redfin raised $14 million in November. But, despite those deals, I am expecting fourth quarter numbers to be well below the $192 million raised last quarter (unless things pick up here around the holidays).