RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Startup Boragen just closed on $2 million in new financing. Now it has in hand a research-and-development deal for work in animal health.

Boragen did not identify its new partner other than to describe the firm as “a global leading animal health company.”

Financial terms were not disclosed either.

“[T]he company will have an exclusive option to a license to develop and commercialize lead compounds in the Animal Health Field,” Boragen noted.

Initial focus is a treatment for canine atopic dermatitis, one of the leading reasons pet owners take their dogs to a vet.

“We believe our unique boron-based technology can impart differentiating biological properties that traditional small molecules might not have access to,” Dr. Tony Liu, Boragen’s cofounder and chief science officer, said. “We are looking forward to working with one of the leading animal health companies to create novel animal health therapies.”

The agreement also calls for the companies to partner in “discovering and developing therapies for other defined immunological indications in the animal health field.”

In 2015, a team of chemists — Dr. Stephen Benkovic, Dr. Lucy Shapiro, Dr. Paul Schimmel, Dr. Gerald Fink, and Dr. C. Tony Liu – founded the Durham-based company as a spinout of Pennsylvania State University.

The mission: to leverage the properties of boron, a naturally occurring chemical element, in a bid to combat the rise in global population and the decrease in farmable land