May 2, 2018

Farmington biotech inks $2.1M in funding

Farmington biotech firm Azitra Inc. said Wednesday it notched more than $2 million in funding to accelerate development of its dermatology and skin treatment products.

Azitra said it secured $2.1 million in convertible debt financing from an existing lender, Texas venture capital firm Bios Partners, and new investments from Connecticut Innovations.

North Carolina-based KdT Ventures, an early stage venture firm, provided additional funding. The company has raised $5.4 million since its inception in 2014.

Headquartered at 400 Farmington Ave., Azitra is a preclinical biotechnology company that focuses on treating a variety of skin conditions such as eczema and staph infections by using the skin's own genetic material.

Azitra President and CEO Richard Andrews said the investments will fund testing of its products across a variety of common and rare genetic skin diseases and cosmetic applications.

Azitra's lead pharmaceutical candidate, "AZT-01," is a recombinant strain of a safe skin bacteria that secretes therapeutic proteins locally into the skin. These bacteria, when applied as a cream, restore the skin to treat eczema and ichthyosis vulgaris, Andrews said.

Dan Wagner, the managing director of investments at Connecticut Innovations, said the firm's innovative concepts show "tremendous promise."

"We are very impressed with the progress Azitra has made in bringing together the power of the microbiome with genetic engineering to form a technology platform that holds great potential to treat skin diseases and conditions," Wagner said.

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