SAN BRUNO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LEAD Therapeutics, Inc., a chemistry-driven drug discovery company, today announced it has raised $17 million in Series A financing co-led by Pappas Ventures and ProQuest Investments. Also participating in this financing round is Mustang Ventures, a China-focused venture firm.
Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, LEAD Therapeutics is led by an experienced small molecule drug discovery team with proven track records in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The company plans to carry out majority of its discovery research activities in China, and has already initiated two drug discovery programs in infectious diseases and oncology, respectively.
Peter Myers, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of LEAD Therapeutics, stated, “We are very pleased to gain the support of Pappas Ventures and ProQuest, two experienced life sciences venture investors, as well as that of Mustang Ventures, a firm known for its high tech investments in China. This financing demonstrates important confidence and support in our innovative approach to capital-efficient drug discovery.”
“LEAD Therapeutics has assembled a management and scientific team with an outstanding track record of successful drug discovery and development in various therapeutic areas at both large and small companies, including Onyx Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline, Parke Davis/Warner Lambert, Abbott Laboratories and others,” said Arthur M. Pappas, Managing Partner, Pappas Ventures. “Their proven abilities, combined with a novel business model designed to optimally utilize resources in both the United States and China for maximum cost effectiveness in the discovery process, made this a compelling investment story for our firm.”
“LEAD Therapeutics’ business strategy is designed to capitalize on the best scientific and technical resources of both China and the United States, enabling the company to more cost efficiently deliver high quality IND candidates that can currently be achieved in the West alone,” said Alain Schreiber, MD, Partner at ProQuest Investments. “Moreover, by establishing R&D capabilities within China, the company will be well-positioned over time to benefit from increasing demand for China capabilities from Western pharmaceutical companies.”
As part of the transaction, Arthur M. Pappas of Pappas Ventures and Alain Schreiber of ProQuest Investments have joined the LEAD Therapeutics board of directors.
About LEAD Therapeutics, Inc.
LEAD Therapeutics, Inc. is a chemistry-driven drug discovery company focused on delivering novel and differentiated small molecule IND candidates against clinically validated therapeutic targets by leveraging the best of the US and China.
The LEAD management team consists of
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, Peter Myers, Ph.D., whose past experience included various senior positions at Glaxo, both in the UK and latterly in the US, where he headed the chemistry team that discovered Avodart, and as Vice President, R&D at Onyx Pharmaceuticals where he initiated the program leading to the discovery of Nexavar. Dr. Myers more recently was VP Research at SGX Pharmaceuticals and COO/CSO at Combichem/DuPont Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Myers is also a founder of the company.
President and Chief Operating Officer and Director, Sofie Qiao, Ph.D., previously Director of Business Operations at Discovery Partners International, and prior to that Director of Business Development at Syrrx. Inc. Dr. Qiao began her industry career as a medicinal chemist at Genzyme before joining McKinsey & Company, where she focused on pharmaceutical and biotech clients. She incorporated LEAD Therapeutics in May 2006, and was responsible for formulating the initial business plan and assembling the founding team. Dr. Qiao is also a founder of the company.
Chief Scientific Officer and Director, Leonard Post, Ph.D., previously Senior Vice President of R&D at Onyx Pharmaceuticals where he led the development of Nexavar from IND through FDA approval for renal cell carcinoma. Over the course of his industry career spanning more than 25 years, Dr. Post was also VP of Discovery Research at Parke-Davis and held several positions including Director of Infectious Disease Research at Upjohn Company. Dr. Post is also a founder of the company.
Vice President of Chemistry, Daniel Chu, Ph.D., who has over 35 years of R&D experience in small molecule drug discovery, including more than 20 years at Abbott Laboratories, as Director of Antibacterial Research where he established an international reputation as one of the most productive and innovative medicinal chemists in the industry, and contributed to the discovery of several new antibiotics. In addition he has held senior positions at Chiron, Kosan and Anacor.
Vice President of Biology, Jerry Shen, Ph.D., who has over 17 years of research and drug development experience, both in academia and within the biotechnology industry including Onyx Pharmaceuticals, and was the founder and VP Research of Applied Biomics.
Business Advisor, Charles Hsu, Ph.D., who has over 20 years of life science industry experience, including 15 years as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, dedicated to investments in early-stage life science and healthcare companies. Dr. Hsu is also a founder of the company.
LEAD Therapeutics is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and plans to conduct the majority of its drug discovery activities in China. For more information, please visit the company's Website at http://www.leadtherapeutics.com.
Sofie Qiao, Ph.D., 650-737-1630
President and Chief Operating Officer
Joan Kureczka, 415-821-2413 (media)
Source: LEAD Therapeutics, Inc.