Regado Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical firm focused on blood clotting and thinning technology, has closed on $23 million in new financing.

The Series C round includes a new investor, Caxton Advantage Life Sciences Fund, which is based in New York City.

Also participating in the round were existing investors The Aurora Funds in Durham, Quaker BioVentures and Domain Associates, plus undisclosed individual investors.

Regado is developing a DNA-based system to control bleeding. The technique was created at Duke University. The technology could present an alternative to such drugs as Heparin and Coumadin, which help prevent heart attacks, strokes and deep-vein thrombosis but also increase the risk of uncontrolled bleeding.

The Regado technology is called REG1.

The system uses aptamers, or short strings of single-stranded nucleic acids, either DNA or RNA, that bind to specific protein or small-molecule targets. Doctors can use the binding pair to control the degree of blood thinning that takes place and to reactivate clotting within five minutes.

"The basis for developing this particular drug antidote pair (was) so that we could thin the blood, thin it rapidly, but we could reverse the effects with a true antidote," Dr. Richard Becker, the director of Duke’s Thromosis Center, recently told WRAL TV’s Dr. Allen Mask. "The blood would go back to its normal clotting potential. Surgery could take place. Then, if need be, if there was an indication, we could re-thin the blood."

Becker said the antidote is inert and quickly leaves the body after it turns off the blood-thinning switch.

Regado is positioning REG1 as the “first specific, direct-acting, antidote-controlled anticoagulant.”

“We are excited about the prospects for Regado and its antidote-controlled therapeutic platform,” said Eric Roberts, managing director of Caxton Advantage. “The company’s lead candidate, REG1, has the potential to address some key issues with today’s anticoagulants used in antithrombotic markets.”

The funds will help Regado pay for Phase II clinical trials.

“This financing provides further validation of the Regado technology and will allow us to build on the progress generated to date,” said Regado Chief Executive Officer Douglas Gooding. “This financing will allow us to continue the clinical development of REG1 in multiple indications. Given the clinical validation that we have seen with the first program, we will be investing some of this new capital in pipeline development as well.”