Devices & Diagnostics, BioPharma

TARIS pivots and is building bladder cancer drug device combo with $32M round

After selling its lead product to Allergan last year for $587.5 million, TARIS Biomedical has pivoted into developing a bladder cancer drug device combination with a $32 million investment.

After offloading its interstitial cystitis program to Allergan last year for some $587.5 million, TARIS Biomedical is emerging as a new urologic company with a fresh $32 million financing.

The funding, led by Flagship Ventures but also from Polaris Venture Partners and RA Capital Management, will help TARIS launch several clinical trials over the next year and expand its team.

Massachusetts-based TARIS is developing a drug-device combination that localizes drug treatment to the bladder, and allows the drug to be administered over the course of weeks or even months. The idea is to increase the efficacy and reduce the systemic side effects of powerful drugs to treat bladder cancer and overactive bladder.

The science is based on work from the cofounders: Lauded MIT scientist and serial entrepreneur Robert Langer, and MIT scientist Michael Cima. They remain on TARIS’ board.

The round was led by Flagship Ventures, as well as Polaris Venture Partners and RA Capital.

“TARIS combines the experience and success of an established company with the agility and sense of mission of a startup,” Flagship Ventures Managing Partner Ed Kania said in a statement. “We are pleased to join existing and new finance partners as we help TARIS advance its technology to help millions of patients who suffer from bladder diseases.”

Indeed, the incidence of bladder disease will continue to increase. Bladder cancer is ranked the fifth most common malignancy by the National Cancer Institute. Standard treatments include surgical tumor resection, radical cystectomies and catheterized instillation therapy. There hasn’t been a ton of change in bladder cancer therapy approaches in the past 20 years – which could give TARIS an edge in this drug device combo.

[Image courtesy of TARIS Biomedical]