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October 4, 2011 | last updated December 2, 2011 6:20 pm
Portlandbiz

Putney nets $21M in capital to develop generic pet drugs

Putney Inc., a pet pharmaceutical company in Portland, has closed a $21 million financing deal to develop its generic veterinary drugs, bolster sales and marketing and address operational and working capital needs.

"This round of funding provides us with the capital we need to hire additional management talent, ramp up our product acquisition and licensing programs, and transform Putney into a stronger R&D and commercial organization," Jean Hoffman, founder and CEO of Putney, said in a press release.

The financing was co-led by Safeguard Scientific Inc. of Wayne, Pa., and NewSpring Capital of Radnor, Pa., which have track records in supporting growth-stage pharmaceutical companies, the release says. Bruce Downey, partner of NewSpring Health Capital II, and James Datin, executive vice president at Safeguard, will also join Putney's board of directors. According to a Safeguard release, the firm invested $10 million, while the rest of the capital was provided by NewSpring and existing investors.

Hoffman says in the release that both Safeguard and NewSpring bring a network of industry contacts, financial expertise and operational experience to the table.

Downey was president and CEO of Barr Pharmaceuticals, a human generics company. The company under his leadership reached revenues of $2.5 billion and became the fourth largest global generic drug company. Barr was acquired by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. for roughly $9 billion in 2008.

Datin has 25 years experience in venture investments, buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and more, according to the release.

Currently, most FDA-approved pet medicines have no generic and cheaper counterpart available, but Hoffman is counting on the rapid adoption of Putney's products by veterinarians and pet owners as they are launched into the market, the release says.

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