Four Biopharma Companies Raise Hundreds of Millions in Series B Rounds
Biopharma and life sciences companies continue to rake in cash in financing rounds. This morning, multiple companies announced hundreds of millions of dollars were raised in Series B rounds that will be used to advance therapeutics and business development programs.
Repertoire Immune Medicines
Cambridge, Mass.-based Repertoire scored $189 million in a Series B financing round. Funds from the round will be used to support the continued expansion of the company’s DECODE discovery platform and accelerate the development of its clinical and preclinical pipeline. Repertoire also said the funds will be used to scale the company by hiring additional staff and enhancing its manufacturing capabilities.
Chief Executive Officer John Cox said the financing is boosting the company’s ability to unlock the full potential of “therapeutically modulating the immune system by decoding the interactions between T cells and antigens to create new classes of immune medicines for cancer, immune disorders, infectious diseases, and other serious diseases.”
This year, the PRIME IL-15 program in advanced metastatic solid tumors is in clinical studies, and a readout is expected later this year. The PRIME IL-12 program in HPV-16+ solid tumors are expected to begin clinical studies by mid-year. Both clinical programs represent novel first of their kind immune medicines in oncology, the company said.
The financing round was led by Flagship Pioneering, its principal backer and founder, and supported by new and existing investors that include Softbank Vision Fund 2 1, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP Investments), the Alaska Permanent Fund, Invus and others.
Jaguar Gene Therapy
Illinois-based Jaguar Gene Therapy raised $139 million in its Series B financing round. Jaguar will use the proceeds and its existing cash resources to advance its initial preclinical pipeline of AAV9-based gene therapies. Assets in the preclinical pipeline include JAG101, gene therapy in development for galactosemia, a rare metabolic condition; JAG201, gene therapy treatment in development for a specific genetic cause of autism spectrum disorder; and JAG301, gene therapy for Type 1 diabetes, a metabolic, autoimmune disease that requires lifelong insulin injections.
Additionally, Axovia Therapeutics, a Jaguar Gene Therapy subsidiary, is advancing AXV101, gene therapy for BBS1, a subset of Bardet-Biedl syndrome.
The financing round was co-led by Eli Lilly and Deerfield Management. Other participants include ARCH Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs and Nolan Capital, Jaguar Executive Chairman Sean P. Nolan's investment fund.
Boston-based Theseus Pharmaceuticals, an OrbiMed-incubated company, emerged from stealth mode with $100 million raised in a Series B financing round. The company is developing best-in-class, pan-variant kinase inhibitors that are expected to anticipate and inhibit new cancer mutations.
Theseus’ lead candidate, THE-630, is a next-generation pan-variant KIT inhibitor in development to treat refractory gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). The company’s pipeline also includes a selective EGFR inhibitor designed to overcome C797S-mediated resistance to first- or later-line osimertinib treatment for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. It’s also developing a third kinase target candidate for an undisclosed indication.
William C. Shakespeare, head of R&D for the company named for the mythical founder of ancient Athens, said current kinase inhibitors that have become standard-of-care could not cover the array of variants that become resistant to treatment.
“At Theseus, we take a pan-variant approach to targeting oncogenes with kinase inhibitors specifically designed to retain their effectiveness even as cancer mutates. Using sophisticated assays, we can predict how cancers will change, enabling new therapies to stay ahead of future mutations and overcome the demonstrated burden of treatment resistance,” Shakespeare said in a statement.
The financing round was led by Foresite Capital. Other supporters include Adage Capital Management, Boxer Capital, Farallon Capital Management, Longitude Capital, Nextech Ventures, Omega Healthcare Investors, Pontifax Venture Capital, Rock Springs Capital, and T. Rowe Price, as well as OrbiMed.
Based in New Jersey, Antios Therapeutics raised $96 million in its Series B. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the company’s ongoing Phase II program evaluating its lead asset, ATI-2173, which the company believes has the potential to be a once-daily curative regimen for chronic hepatitis B. ATI-2173 is a novel, liver-targeted Active Site Polymerase Inhibitor Nucleotide (ASPIN). The company said it can shut down HBV polymerase activity and viral replication.
“ATI-2173 has already demonstrated potent on-treatment and durable off-treatment effects in our Phase 1b study in patients with chronic hepatitis B,” CEO Greg Mayes said in a statement. “With this financing we are now well positioned to continue to highlight how ATI-2173 may become the backbone of a curative regimen for HBV which remains a significant unmet global public health need.”
The financing round was led by Soleus Capital. Other participants include new major investors RA Capital Management, Adage Capital Management LP, Pontifax, and Aisling Capital. Also participating were Altium Capital, Amzak Health, Granite Point Capital Management, LP, and LifeSci Venture Partners. All Series A backers joined in the Series B as well.