Johnson & Johnson Announces Investment in Protagonist Therapeutics
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.
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.
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.