Eikon Acquires Broad Development Pipeline, Raises $106M in Series C Funding

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Pictured: Golden Gate Bridge/iStock, bloodua

Led by biopharma titan Roger Perlmutter, Eikon Therapeutics kicked off 2022 with a Series B financing worth $517.8 million. The Bay Area-based biotech made another splash Thursday, announcing a $106 million Series C raise and the acquisition of exclusive, global rights to several early- to mid-stage assets.  

An undisclosed number of clinical-stage Toll-like receptor 7 and 8 (TLR7/8) agonist immune modulators come over from Seven and Eight Biotherapeutics Corp.; from Impact Therapeutics, Eikon has licensed a portfolio of PARP1-selective inhibitors; and finally, from Cleave Therapeutics, Eikon has acquired a suite of preclinical assets aimed at targets involved in protein homeostasis, DNA damage repair and chromatin remodeling. 

Financial terms were not disclosed for any of the transactions. 

The TLR7/8 agonist immune modulators have been tested in advanced, refractory, solid tumors and have shown “tolerable safety and activity” alone and in combination with PD-(L)1 inhibitors, according to Eikon’s press release. Also in the cancer space, The PARP1-selective inhibitors are intended to improve upon existing unselective dual PARP1/2 inhibitory agents.

The preclinical assets acquired from Cleave have potential use in both cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, according to the announcement.

The $106 million is the “first close” in a Series C round that Eikon expects to complete “in the next several months,” Perlmutter told BioPharma Dive.

With nearly $775 million raised since its late 2019 founding, Eikon made the No. 3 spot on BioSpace’s Top Life Sciences Startups to Watch in 2022 list. The biotech describes its technology as a “groundbreaking approach to elucidating the behavior of proteins in live cells.” Eikon tracks and measures the movement of individual proteins in order to understand their role in disease biology.

In addition, the company’s proprietary Single Molecule Tracking (SMT) technology enables it to make strategic decisions around its new drug pipeline, Eikon stated in its announcement.

While Eikon is developing some drugs in-house, some fellow biotechs have asked for the company’s assistance in advancing their own programs, Perlmutter told BioPharma Dive.

“Our business development strategy is focused on high-potential assets that Eikon is uniquely positioned to develop and which complement our internal discovery programs,” Roy Baynes, chief medical officer, said in a prepared statement. Formerly head of global clinical development and chief medical officer at Merck, Baynes joined Eikon in March 2022.

As of Thursday, Baynes is in possession of a Clinical Development organization as Eikon announced the addition of several new team members. These include Mei Ling Chang-Lok, who will serve as vice president, regulatory; Suba Krishnan will be vice president, early development lead; Kevin O’Brien is senior vice president, clinical development operations. 

Heather McKenzie is a senior editor at BioSpace, focusing on neuroscience, oncology and gene therapy. You can reach her at heather.mckenzie@biospace.com. Follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter @chicat08.

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