Fresh Biopharmas Join the Race to Cutting-Edge Treatments and Testing
Several companies launched with Series A financing rounds today. Read on for details.
Tectonic Therapeutics. Based in Boston, the company raised $80 million in Series A financing co-led by Vida Ventures, TA Springer, and Polaris Partners, with participation from EcoR1 Capital.
The company was co-founded in 2019 by Andrew Kruse, Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and Timothy A. Springer, Latham Family Professor and Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Tectonic Therapeutics focuses on GPCR-targeted therapies.
“GPCRs are central to human biology and are the target of approximately 30% of all currently approved drugs,” said Springer. “However, many GPCRs still remain unexplored or are considered ‘undruggable’. The Tectonic platform makes it possible to develop a broad pipeline of biologics against the most challenging receptors in the class. Despite the rich pipeline of approved drugs, these target less than 15% of the GPCR class.”
Alchemab Therapeutics. Located in Cambridge, England, Alchemab completed a Series A financing round worth £60 million ($82 million, US). The round was led by RA Capital Management, with participation from Lightstone Ventures, Data Collective VC (DCVC), DHVC, SV Health Investors and the Dementia Discovery Fund.
The company was founded by SV Health Investors with a seed round in 2019. The funding will be used to advance the company’s target-agnostic drug discovery platform. The platform interrogates the entire antibody repertoires of individuals in defined groups that show unusual resistance to disease despite risk factors or a genetic disposition for a poor prognosis. They believe they can then identify naturally protective antibodies that might be able to be developed into therapies. It is currently focusing on identifying antibodies for hard-to-treat neurodegenerative diseases and cancers.
“Our aim is to become a major player in the identification of novel targets and antibodies in the areas of neurodegeneration and cancer,” said Alex Leech, chief executive officer of Alchemab. “The substantial financial commitment by this high-caliber group of U.S. and European investors is a strong endorsement of our science and team.”
AltruBio. Based in Redwood City, Calif., AltruBio closed on a $63 million Series A round led by aMoon with new investors BVF Partners, CAM Capital and other new and existing investors. The company is working to develop treatments for immunological diseases, particular focusing on the role PSGL-1 plays as an immune checkpoint regulator protein. Its lead molecule, neihulizumab, is an immune checkpoint agonist antibody targeting PSGL-1/CD162 in four autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The lead indication is for steroid refractory acute graft-versus-host disease.
“We are honored to have this strong group of investors join us, marking our steady growth and transformation into a truly promising biotech company with great chances of creating value for patients and all our stakeholders,” said Judy Chou, president and chief executive officer of AltruBio. “The investors’ experience and support will enable the company to leverage our PSGL-1 immune checkpoint regulator program across multiple indications, realizing our ‘pipeline in a product’ vision, and accelerating our ability to bring solutions to patients in need.”
Multiply Labs. Headquartered in San Francisco, Multiply Labs raised $20 million in a Series A financing led by Casdin Capital. They were joined by new investors Lux Capital and Pathfinder, Founder’s Fund’s early-stage investment vehicle, as well as seed investors Fifty Years and Garage Capital. Multiply Labs is a robotics company working on automated manufacturing systems for the production of individualized drugs.
Multiply’s two markets are robotic manufacturing of personalized capsules for clinical trials, and robotic manufacturing of cell therapies. It is developing cloud-controlled robotic systems for the manufacture of experimental cell therapies with a consortium of industrial and research organizations.
“We strongly believe that robotic technology is essential to scale the production of individualized, next-gen drugs,” said Fred Parietti, co-founder and chief executive officer of Multiply. “Only automation can bring these life-saving therapies to all the patients who need them, safely and efficiently. Our goal is to augment pharma manufacturing with deep, industry-leading robotics technology.”
Calciscon AG. Switzerland-based Calciscon AG closed its Series A financing for 2.5 million CHF ($2.7 million). The round was led by Yellowstone Holding. The funds will be used to advance its T50 test in routine clinical use in Europe and to prepare for a launch in the U.S. T50 is a modern, first of its kind blood test that measures calcification propensity. This data can assist doctors in selecting treatments for kidney disease patients.
“The T50 immediately answers large unmet medical needs in improving treatment of kidney disease patients,” said Chan-Yuan Lu from Yellowstone. “Our consulting kidney care experts are very interested in starting to use the T50 to address CV complications.”