Bay Area MyoKardia Snags $46 Million in Series B Financing Amid Rumors of Future IPO
Published: May 01, 2015
April 30, 2015
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
South San Francisco, Calif.-based MyoKardia told BioSpace today that it had raised $46 million in a Series B financing round. Investors included Casdin Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Perceptive Life Sciences, an affiliate of Cowen Group, BridgeBio LLC, and an undisclosed public investment fund. Paris-based Sanofi , an existing investor, also participated.
MyoKardia is one of the first companies to take a precision medicine approach to cardiology, which is a unique component of their focus. The company recently announced the beginning of a Phase I clinical trial in its pipeline for cardiomyopathy. Much of the money raised will be used it progressing the pipeline through trials.
In early March the company announced it had started dosing in a Phase I clinical trial for MYK-461. The compound targets the underlying cause of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is the most common inheritable trait for cardiovascular disease. HCM patients have a gene mutation that leads to over-contraction of the heart muscle cells, which leads to thicker and stiffer heart muscles.
“The enthusiasm from the investment community is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our scientists and employees, founders and collaborators all sharing MyoKardia’s vision to transform the lives of patients suffering from these devastating diseases,” said Tassos Gianakakos, chief executive officer of MyoKardia in a statement. “The investment of resources and expertise by our new shareholders helps MyoKardia continue to strengthen its scientific leadership position and advance our therapeutic programs as quickly and responsibly as possible.”
MYK-461 is the first drug in the company’s portfolio to enter clinical development. Its clinical program will identify and genetically screen for HCM patients with the specific mechanism to be treated by the drug.
It is noteworthy that MyoKardia’s founding investor, Third Rock Ventures, was not among the crossover-filled Series B round. Recently two other companies started up by Third Rock, Voyager Therapeutics and Jounce Therapeutics, recently had cross-over-led Series B rounds without Third Rock’s participation. A Third Rock spokesperson indicated that there was a high level of interest from other investors, which gave those startups more diversity in their shareholder bases.
It was also suggested that Voyager was moving toward a possible initial public offering (IPO), which may be the case for MyoKardia as well.
In September 2014 Sanofi penned a collaboration with MyoKardia worth about $245 million. It had $45 million up front and could have another $200 million in milestones payments, equity funding and research and development services.
That deal focused on three specific programs, two for treatment for HCM, as well as a treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), the most common type of cardiomyopathy.