November 11, 2017
CBC researchers’ start-up raises $11 million. Spotlight on Northwestern University’s Chad Mirkin and Shad Thaxton.
Congratulations to Chad Mirkin and Shad Thaxton (NU) who are featured in Crain’s Business Chicago! Mirkin and Thaxton are co-founders of a Northwestern University biotech spinout company, Exicure, that has just received a huge boost of over $11 million from a Chinese pharmaceutical company, bringing their total fundraising to $31.5 million in the past two months. Both researchers have received CBC support in the past: Chad is a co-recipient of a CBC Lever Award (2010) and Shad and his postdoc, Linda Foit, received a CBC Postdoctoral Research Award (2014). Mirkin and Thaxton are great examples of the translational potential in the Chicago community. With the CBC Phase 2 mission focused on such translation, it is rewarding to see the progress of companies like Exicure.
Northwestern spinout gets another $11 million
Crain’s Chicago Business | By John Pletz | November 8, 2017
A Northwestern University biotech spinout got another boost, raising $11.2 million, led by a Chinese pharmaceutical company.
Exicure, which is developing gene-regulating therapies for inflammation, cancer and other diseases, has raised $31.5 million in the past two months. The company raised $20 million from private investors in September. The most recent investment was led by Luye Pharma Group, a Chinese drugmaker.
Now based in Skokie, Exicure was founded in 2011 as AuraSense Therapeutics by Northwestern nanotech researchers Chad Mirkin and Shad Thaxton. It previously raised $42 million from investors including Bill Gates, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Aon founder Pat Ryan and Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky.
The company employs about 25 people. CEO David Giljohann says Exicure will use the funding to continue clinical development of its treatments.
CBC Lever Award (2010):
PIs: Chad Mirkin and Milan Mrksich (NU), David Eddington (UIC) and Joel Collier (UChicago) for project:
▸ Nanomaterials for Cancer Diagnostics and Therapeutics
CBC Postdoctoral Research Award (2014):
PIs: Linda Foit and Colby Shad Thaxton (NU) for the project:
▸ Biomimetic, intrinsically therapeutic nanocarriers for targeted drug delivery in cancer