Altea Therapeutics has closed on a Series B equity financing of $17 million and hired a new chief executive officer.

The financing round was co-led by new investors Domain Associates of Princeton, NJ, and New York-based Venrock Associates, with vSpring Capital of Salt Lake City also participating.

Altea also has named Eric Tomlinson as the new CEO of the company.

“The financing and my joining had some mutual interrelationship,” Tomlinson tells Local Tech Wire. “I joined because of the outstanding reproducibility of the human clinical data generated using the company’s prototype technology together with excitement around the breadth of business opportunities.”

Tomlinson established and led the worldwide Advanced Drug Delivery Research Program for Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals, and as CEO of GeneMedicin, he was responsible for its venture financings, initial and secondary public offerings, business partnerships and development of clinical products.

Tomlinson replaces Deborah A. Eppstein, who will remain on the Altea’s board of directors and becomes its president and chief business officer.

“We are very pleased to attract a leader with such a broad range of scientific and business experience as Dr. Tomlinson,” said Eppstein, who helped found the company. “We are delighted to complete this financing with such prestigious investors. These new funds will allow Altea Therapeutics to progress its technology and products in a timely manner.”

Altea plans to use the $17 million to develop its lead products, a basal insulin patch and an opiate-based analgesic patch, through phase II clinical trials. It will also continue to assess the use of its skin microporation technology for the controlled delivery of other therapeutic agents, including proteins, small molecules and vaccines.

“AlteaTherapeuticics was able to attract high quality investment due to its broadly applicable technology and the prospect for early product launch,” Tomlinson says. “The financing enables us to develop our products deep into clinical trial.”

Founded in 1998 as Altea Development Corp, the company’s corporate and research facilities of 25,000 square feet are located in the greater Atlanta area, with additional business offices in Europe (Stockholm) and Salt Lake City. Altea’s proprietary position includes 12 issued patents (seven in the U.S.), with numerous additional applications pending.

Altea says it has developed a noninvasive method to achieve the delivery of therapeutic proteins, conventional drugs and vaccines through the skin. It believes that use of its technology can provide a painless, convenient and effective method to deliver drugs and vaccines that previously have been limited to administration by injection.

“The ability to deliver large molecules without injection has been a long-sought capability,” Jesse Treu, a general partner at Domain Associates and member of Altea’s board, said in a statement. “Altea Therapeutics is a particularly exciting company because its technology appears to achieve that goal.”

Altea Therapeutics: