ADC-Focused OnCusp Therapeutics Emerges with $100M Series A Raise

Jar of money

Pictured: Jar of money / Adobe Stock, juliasudnitskaya

The antibody-drug conjugate market remains hot in 2024 with another startup entering the space with an asset and a $100 million Series A raise. OnCusp Therapeutics, a New York City-based biotech, announced Thursday that it is emerging with an ADC candidate and several significant investors including OrbiMed, Novo Holdings, and F-Prime Capital.

Other investors in the round include Sofinnova Investments, Catalio Captial Management, Marshall Wallace, Forge Life Science Partners, Blackbird BioVentures and CJNV BioVenture. OnCusp said that the company has raised $139 million in total since being established in 2021. The company was founded by Bing Yuan, who also serves as CEO, along with Eric Slosberg and Andy Fu.

OnCusp said that the funds will help to expand the team and portfolio and advance its ADC candidate known as CUSP06. The candidate targets the CDH6, comprised of a “high CDH6 binding affinity, a protease-cleavable linker and an eaten payload.” According to its website,  CUSP06 is designed to go after solid tumors.

“This significant Series A financing enables OnCusp to accelerate the development of CUSP06 and other game-changing therapeutics in our fight against cancer,” Yuan said in a statement. 

OnCusp said that CUSP06 has “strong preclinical data,” can heighten the “bystander effect” and can counter drug resistance. The company secured the FDA’s IND clearance in the third quarter of 2023 and plans to be in a Phase I study in humans soon, though no specific timeframe was given. 

“ADCs have become one of the most promising modalities for treating cancer, and CDH6 is emerging as a winning ADC target. We believe CUSP06 is well positioned to unlock the full potential of this target, both in high and low CDH6 expressing tumors,” Diyong Xu, a principal at OrbiMed and board member at OnCusp, said in a statement. 

ADCs have been a red hot market in 2023. Major pharma companies such as Pfizer, GSK, and AbbVie—to name a few—have a significant amount of cash into securing assets or acquiring companies to gain access to the technology. The market is showing no signs of slowing as Roche started 2024 with a $50 million upfront, and possibly $1 billion, deal with China-based MediLink to gain access to its ADC in oncology. 

Tyler Patchen is a staff writer at BioSpace. You can reach him at Follow him on LinkedIn.

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