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Local Tech Wire

MORRISVILLE, N.C. – , which is developing drug purification and production technology as well as protein engineering and protein-based therapeutics, has new investors and $25 million in the bank.

The company, which also has licensed technology from Duke University, said Thursday it had closed on a new round of investment led by and OSI Investment Management.

Existing investors , Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation and Fletcher Spaght Ventures also invested.

Additionally, PhaseBio added three members to its board of directors, including former GlaxoWellcome executive Robert Ingram. Ingram is a partner at Hatteras Ventures.

OSI Investment Management, which is part of OSI Pharmaceuticals, has also agreed to license technology from PhaseBio. Financial details of that deal were not disclosed.

PhaseBio has developed patented technology known as deltaPhase that is used in the production and purification of therapeutics. According to the company, the process delivers increased yields, higher throughput as well as some steps in final product purification.

The company also is developing therapeutics based on Elastin-Like Polypeptide (ELP) technology for use in what it calls therapeutic fused proteins. By using protein engineering, PhaseBio says it can utilize biopolymers to which drugs can be attached or fused with peptides and proteins to enhance the effectiveness and delivery of drugs.

“The financing provides us funding that will allow us to build our pipeline of ELP-based therapeutics including advancing our lead programs through phase (one and two) proof-of-concept studies in patients,” said PhaseBio Chief Executive Officer Christopher Prior in a statement.

Added board Chairman Craig Rosen: “This company’s transformational ELP technology will create a variety of exciting product opportunities in the coming years.”

In addition to Ingram, new PhaseBio board members include James Barrett, an NEA general partner, and Justin Klein, a principal at NEA.

According to Barrett, “PhaseBio’s therapeutic platform has the potential to deliver best-in-class biologics addressing numerous diseases. The company has made excellent progress in the establishment of their discovery capabilities and the progress of their pipeline.”

Last November, PhaseBio raised nearly $1 million in debt financing. The company borrowed $1 million in 2008 to move its headquarters. It closed on $5.4 million in venture funding as part of a $6.6 million Series B round in 2007.