IDEAYA Biosciences Nabs $94 Million

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Two years after securing $46 million in financing from the likes of Celgene and Novartis AG, South San Francisco-based IDEAYA Biosciences has completed another successful fundraising round with support from GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Roche Venture Fund.

IDEAYA completed a $94 million Series B funding round to support the development of its small molecule programs with a focus on personalized synthetic lethality medicines for genetically defined patient populations. Additionally, the company is developing an immuno-oncology pipeline targeting immuno-metabolism and innate immunity. IDEAYA said the new funding round will help advance its treatment programs with a goal of initiating multiple clinical studies in 2019.

IDEAYA Chief Executive Officer Yujiro S. Hata said he was pleased by the new organizations that supported the company’s financing round and said they look forward to advancing the company’s position as a leading biotech with a “dual focus on synthetic lethality and immuno-oncology."

"We are at a point of confluence of innovation in oncology from more powerful patient sequencing, improved research tools like CRISPR, and a deeper understanding of cancer biology. This is accelerating the translation of research into transformative new therapies, and we see distinct promise in both synthetic lethality and immuno-oncology as pillars of cancer treatment in the next decade and beyond," Hata said in a statement.

In addition to GV and Roche, IDEAYA’s latest funding round was supported by BVF Partners L.P., Perceptive Advisors LLC, Nextech Invest Ltd., 6 Dimensions Capital, Boxer Capital of the Tavistock Group, and Driehaus Capital Management, LLC. Existing supporters for the new funding round included 5AM Ventures, Canaan Partners, Celgene Corporation, WuXi Healthcare Ventures and Alexandria Venture Investments.

As part of the financing agreement Thilo Schroeder, a partner at Nextech Invest Ltd., and Edward Hu, founding partner of 6 Dimensions Capital, joined the company's board of directors. Kanishka Pothula, managing director at BVF Partners, Vineeta Agarwala, venture partner at GV, and Nisha Marathe, an investment manager at Roche Venture Fund, joined as board observers.

New board member Schroeder called synthetic lethality a “powerful, personalized approach to treating cancer.” Schroeder said the company is well-positioned to take “the next wave of biomarker-driven synthetic lethality therapies” into the clinic.

The financing followed news this week that IDEAYA entered into a partnership agreement with Cancer Research UK to develop small molecule inhibitors of Poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG). PARG is a cellular enzyme that breaks down Poly(ADP-ribose), a post-translational modification that modulates protein function required for DNA repair. Inhibition of PARG in cancer cells with highly-active PARP results in depletion of cellular NAD, the company said in a March 13 statement. NAD is an essential cofactor in cellular respiration, and its depletion results in a dramatic decrease in cellular ATP and cancer cell death.

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