Dauntless Pharmaceuticals Inc., a new biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of specialty drugs, announced Tuesday the closing of a $12 million Series A financing.

The round will fund the development of DP1038, a preclinical-stage drug for the potential treatment of endocrine cancers. DP1038 uses patented technology developed by Aegis Therapeutics LLC, a drug-delivery and drug-formulation company that has successfully licensed technology to leading pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies.

Dauntless Pharmaceuticals was founded by Joel F. Martin, president and CEO, and Sofinnova Ventures, the sole institutional investor in the Series A financing.

Michael Powell, Sofinnova general partner, is a co-founder and will serve as chairman. David Kabakoff, Sofinnova executive partner, will serve on the company's board of directors.

Martin served most recently as the president and CEO of Cebix Inc., a Phase 2b company in the Sofinnova Ventures portfolio. Prior to Cebix, he served as president and CEO of Altair Therapeutics, a Phase 2 asthma company that was acquired in 2010. Martin was also a partner at Forward Ventures from 2001-2008, where he led investments in neuroscience and oncology companies, including Hypnion, Predix, and Cellective Therapeutics.

Martin was also co-founder and CEO of Quantum Dot Corp. (acquired by Life Technologies), a pioneer in nanotechnology applications in the life sciences, and a co-founder and CEO of Argonaut Technologies, a chemistry automation company (formerly NASDAQ: AGNT), which was acquired by Biotage AB.