NeXeption, LLC has secured $21.5 million in Series A financing to form Alexar Therapeutics, Inc., focused on developing a portfolio of Liver X receptor (LXR) agonists for both systemic and local use. LXR agonists regulate multiple genetic pathways and have potent anti-inflammatory activity. The financing, led by New Science Ventures and Third Point Ventures with participation from Palo Alto Investors, will fund the initial development of Alexar’s lead compound, A-110, a topical LXR agonist for the treatment of inflammatory cutaneous disorders.
Dave Pfeiffer has been named chief executive officer and board director at Alexar. Mr. Pfeiffer is a biopharmaceutical executive with more than 25 years of experience at both large and small life science companies. Most recently, he served as chief commercial officer and board member at Ellman International, a private equity-backed surgical device and aesthetics company focused on dermatology.
Steve Tullman, managing partner of NeXeption, will serve as chairman of the board. Mr. Tullman most recently served as chairman and chief executive officer of Ceptaris Therapeutics, Inc. and executive chairman of Vicept (acquired by Allergan). Previously, he co-founded and led several companies including Ception Therapeutics, a biologics company acquired by Cephalon. Also, Dr. Neal Walker, a board certified dermatologist and NeXeption partner, will serve as vice chairman of Alexar. Dr. Walker is the chief executive officer, president and director of Aclaris Therapeutics Inc., a NeXeption company.
“The NeXeption business model allows us to develop promising drug candidates like A-110 by creating and funding independent operating companies that are focused solely on maximizing the value of each asset,” said Mr. Tullman. “NeXeption’s highly concentrated experience is essential to optimizing product profiles, executing development plans and efficiently moving these assets from concept to launch. Dave is highly qualified to lead the Alexar team and help us realize the potential of this novel LXR agonist portfolio, both clinically and commercially.”