Eikon Boasts Stellar Leadership Lineup and Massive $518 Million Series B
Eikon CEO Roger Perlmutter (Eikon)
Eikon Therapeutics closed on a Series B financing worth $517.8 million today. The Hayward, Calif.-based company was founded in 2014 by Robert Tijan, Luke Lavis, Xavier Darzacq, and Eric Betzig—one of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry co-winners. In 2020, Dr. Roger Perlmutter, formerly head of Research & Development at Merck, joined the company as chief executive officer. To date, the company has raised more than $668 million.
Eikon, which was number 3 on BioSpace’s NextGen Bio “Class of 2022” life science startups to watch, developed super-resolved fluorescence microscopy, allowing researchers to view cell activity in real-time, including protein interactions.
New investors in the Series B round included funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), EcoR1 Capital, UC Investments, ADIA, StepStone Group, Soros Capital, Schroders Capital, Harel Insurance, General Catalyst, E15 VC, Hartford HealthCare Endowment, and AME Cloud Ventures. Series A investors also participated, including The Column Group, Foresite Capital, Innovation Endeavors, Lux Capital, and Horizons Ventures.
“Through the integration of advanced engineering and high-performance computing, alongside more traditional molecular biology and medicinal chemistry, Eikon is developing a battery of innovative tools for biological exploration,” said Dr. Perlmutter, chief executive officer and chairman of Eikon. “With the support of our investors, we continue to make dramatic progress in the industrialization of our live-cell imaging platform. We will use the resources of this new financing to progress more quickly toward our mission of inventing innovative medicine that will improve and extend life.”
The senior leadership of the company includes Daniel Anderson, chief scientific officer, former vice president of Biology for Recursion Pharmaceuticals; Russ Berman, chief technical officer, formerly vice president of Engineering for Pacific Biosciences; Alfred (Freddie) Bowie, Jr., chief financial officer, previously vice president of Corporate and Business Development for Veracyte; Barbara Howes, chief people officer, previously chief Human Resources officer with Pliant Therapeutics; Ashish Kheterpal, chief information officer, formerly chief information officer with PACT Pharma; and Ben Thorner, general counsel & chief business officer, previously senior vice president and head of BD&L at Merck Research Laboratories.
“By successfully integrating robotics, high-performance computing and advanced data analytics, Eikon has built a drug hunting biofactory of the future,” said Adam Goulburn, a partner at Lux Capital. “The company’s proprietary single-particle tracking platform enables them to peer into live cells, in real-time, and derive biological insights never visualized before. Combining this pioneering platform with Roger’s leadership and the Eikon team’s drug development pedigree, puts the company at the very forefront of discovery in the biotech industry.”
In May 2021, when Eikon closed on its $148 million Series A round, Dr. Darzacq, co-founder of Eikon and professor of molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, said, “Eikon was founded on the vision that observing protein movement in living cells will yield important biological insights enabling the discovery of therapies that could not be identified by other means. Using an interdisciplinary approach that combines engineering and science, we have created an exciting new window into cell biology and pharmacology. With the addition of Roger’s depth of drug development experience, the Eikon team is poised to apply this unique platform to its best advantage in developing therapeutics with potentially significant benefits to patients.”