Novan Therapeutics said Monday it has completed raising $50 million, much of it from private investors in the Triangle, as the Durham start-up continues developing its novel acne treatment.
The latest financing round completes an initial $10.3 million raised in August with a $39.7 million round that closed Friday.
It also brings Novan’s total haul to $70 million, dating back to January 2008 when the company hired its first employee. Today Novan employs 43 people and is also developing an anti-viral to treat warts caused by sexually transmitted diseases.
Novan’s lead medication, SB204, is being developed to treat acne vulgaris, a bacterial infection common in adolescence that results in red lesions, blackheads and whiteheads.
Novan says SB204 would be the first acne treatment to use nitric oxide, a microbe-fighting molecule naturally produced by humans, to fight acne inflammation. A common means of fighting acne today is through antibiotic treatments, which are not completely effective and can have side effects associated with overuse of antibiotics.
The company has been developing SB204 for four years, using a technology spun off from research at UNC-Chapel Hill. The medication is formulated as a gel that keeps nitric oxide intact in the gel until it’s administered to patients.
SB204 has been tested on more than 250 people to date and about 200 more have been enrolled for a Phase 2b clinical trial on the treatment. It would not be commercially available until 2018 at the earliest.
Novan’s directors include several well-known Triangle entrepreneurs, including founding investor and board chairman F. Neal Hunter, who is the co-founder of and former CEO of Cree, the Durham semiconductor and LED lighting developer.
Another director is Robert Ingram, the former CEO of GlaxoWellcome, and later an executive at its successor pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline.