Intersouth Partners is one of four venture capital firms and the only outside of California that have funded a $17 million Series A round for KAI Pharmaceuticals.

The round was led by Skyline Ventures of Palo Alto, CA, and also included InterWest Partners and Delphi Ventures, both of Menlo Park, CA.

KAI, based in South San Francisco, CA, is developing therapeutics that selectively modulate protein kinase C. The company currently has more than 20 compounds, many of which it expects to be advanced towards the clinic.

Clinical studies are expected to begin in 2004. The first investigational agent is designed to prevent reperfusion injury associated with acute heart attack. The second drug is designed as a prophylactic agent in patients at risk for stroke.

“We are delighted our investors recognize the potential benefits of this outstanding science,” said Paul Auerbach, chief operating officer of KAI. “This successful financing positions KAI to emerge as one of the most exciting new biotechnology companies.”

Intersouth, based in Durham, is one of the largest early stage venture funds in the Southeast, having invested in more than 75 private companies, including Accipiter, Biolex, Encelle, Paradigm Genetics, SmartPath and Ziptronix.

Founded in 1985, Intersouth manages more than $500 million in six venture capital limited partnerships. It typically invests between $500,000 and $5 million in early rounds, devoting as much as $12 million to a single company.


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