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Zavante Therapeutics Secures $10 Million Loan

Zavante Therapeutics, a San Diego startup launched by biotech veterans last fall, has secured a $10 million loan from Square 1 Bank, a division of Pacific Western Bank.

The new funds will be used for growth and commercialization, according to a Zavante news release. The cash might also be used to pad the company’s pipeline, testing Zavante’s lead drug candidate in new indications.

The company’s lead program, called ZTI-01, is an injectable antibiotic meant to treat infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria, an area of familiarity for the company’s founders.

Zavante’s co-founder and chairman, Cam Garner, 67, is a ranking member of San Diego’s life science hub. He headed sales and marketing at the region’s first biotech, Hybritech, which was later sold to Eli Lilly and Co. in a landmark sale that spawned over a hundred life science companies in the region.

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Since then, Garner has funded, founded or co-founded numerous ventures in San Diego, including Cadence Pharmaceuticals (which sold to Mallinckrodt for $1.4 billion in 2014), Meritage Pharma (which sold to Shire for $245 million in 2015) and public specialty pharma Zogenix Inc.

The company’s leadership team also includes co-founder, president and CEO Ted Schroeder, also a veteran biotech executive in the region. Before Zavante, Schroeder was president, CEO and founder of Cadence Pharmaceuticals. He also held leadership positions at Elan Pharmaceuticals and Dura Pharmaceuticals.

“We are extremely pleased to have Square 1 as our banking partner and extend the strong financial relationship base that we have formed with our existing venture capital investors,” Schroeder said in a statement. “The closing of this credit facility supports our goals of filing a New Drug Application, or NDA, for ZTI-01 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the second half of 2017 and preparing for commercialization.”

Zavante is backed by leading life sciences investors including Aisling Capital, Frazier Healthcare Partners and Longitude Capital.

Square 1, established in North Carolina in 2005, was acquired by Los Angeles-based bank holding company PacWest Bancorp last year in an all-stock deal valued at $849 million.

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