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Bay City Capital leads $42m round for Dermira

21 Oct 2011

Growth investors including Bay City Capital have raised $42m in a Series A financing round for Dermira, in a deal which will fund the dermatology group’s acquisition of Canadian rival Valocor Therapeutics

Headquartered in Redwood City, California, Dermira is a development-stage company focused on developing and commercialising innovative new therapies in dermatology.

The company’s portfolio of dermatology therapeutics includes lemuteporfin, a potent and selective topical photodynamic therapy for acne and a portfolio of novel, topical small molecule therapeutics targeting acne, sebaceous gland hyperactivity, and inflammatory skin diseases.

Dermira was founded and seed financed in late 2010 by former members of the Peplin and Connetics leadership teams, including Tom Wiggans, who will serve as CEO, and Dr Eugene Bauer, who will serve as chief medical officer, together with Bay City Capital.

In conjunction with the Series A closing, Dermira has acquired Valocor, which has a pipeline of innovative, development-stage dermatology programmes for the treatment of acne, inflammatory skin diseases, and other dermatologic conditions.

Funds will be used to advance the product pipeline, specifically, lemuteporfin, a potent and selective topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) for acne, licensed from QLT Inc, as well as a robust pipeline of novel, topical small molecule therapeutics for sebaceous gland hyperactivity and inflammatory skin diseases. Dermira will also continue to pursue additional development and commercial opportunities in dermatology for licensing or acquisition.

Tom Wiggans, CEO of Dermira, said, “Although there are currently many serious and highly prevalent skin conditions that have unsatisfactory treatment options available, dermatology has attracted limited research and investment resources towards truly innovative therapeutics. We have assembled an outstanding combination of technology, management and investors to address this need and lead the development of new categories of dermatology products, with the potential to improve the way patients are treated.”

Bay City Capital recently joined the venture capital arm of Johnson & Johnson in a $58m funding round for the acquisition of Nevro Corp, the California-based healthcare company.

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