Johnson & Johnson Announces Investment in Protagonist Therapeutics

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  • 1.  A co-founder of Opus Point Partners, Lindsay Rosenwald has invested in an array of promising biotech firms. In 2009, Lindsay Rosenwald coordinated the sale of Cougar Biotechnology, Inc., to Johnson & Johnson for close to $1 billion.
  • 2.  In June 2013, Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology start-up with offices in California and Australia, procured $14 million in Series B venture funding from Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation. The company received an initial $9 million in Series A investments from Eli Lilly’s Lilly Ventures and Starfish Ventures. With the support of this funding, Protagonist will continue its work on a series of promising peptide drugs. The company will also benefit from the guidance of Asish Xavier; the vice president of venture investments for Johnson & Johnson. He will now serve on Protagonist's board of directors.
  • 3.  Over the last several years, Protagonist has focused its research on amino acid-based compounds, making strides toward developing a drug to treat inflammatory bowel diseases. In 2011, the company partnered with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and in 2012, it added Zealand Pharma A/S to the alliance. Protagonist hopes to begin human trials of the peptide drug in 2015.