Ajax Therapeutics Raises $40 Million Financing To Develop Novel Small Molecules Targeting Cytokine Signaling Pathways for Hematologic Malignancies
Financing led by EcoR1 Capital with additional new investor, Boxer Capital
Strategic collaboration with co-founder, Schrödinger, Inc., to develop pipeline of selectively targeted therapeutics
Founding scientists are world leaders in hematologic malignancies, genetics and structural biology
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ajax Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company applying computational chemistry and structure-based technologies to develop novel small molecules for hematologic malignancies, today announced the completion of a $40 million financing. The round was led by EcoR1 Capital LLC with participation from additional new investor, Boxer Capital, as well as co-founding investors Inning One Ventures and Schrödinger, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDGR). Existing research collaboration partners, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and NYU Langone Health, also participated in the financing. Concurrent with the financing, Scott Platshon, Partner of EcoR1 Capital, will join the Ajax Board of Directors.
“We’re excited to be joining the Ajax team through this financing and supporting the company as it advances its drug development programs toward the clinic,” said Scott Platshon, Partner, EcoR1 Capital. “Ajax’s world class scientific founders have proprietary insights into treating hematologic malignancies and we have been impressed by the company’s ability to translate these insights into a promising pipeline of treatments for significant unmet needs for patients.”
“We are pleased to welcome EcoR1 and Boxer Capital to our investor syndicate,” said Martin Vogelbaum, Ajax co-founder, interim CEO and Managing Partner at Inning One Ventures. “We’ve made significant progress at Ajax since founding the company in 2019 and look forward to continuing the momentum we’ve built with our unique approaches to selectively targeting key cytokine signaling pathways that drive hematologic malignancies.”
Proceeds from the financing will support the advancement of Ajax’ lead drug development programs targeting hematologic malignancies. The financing will also support the company’s drug discovery pipeline, including the potential expansion of research efforts beyond hematologic malignancies, in addition to building out the company’s scientific and technical leadership team.
“Ajax began as an academic consortium among the scientific founders who recognized the need for new approaches to treating hematologic malignancies,” said Ross Levine, MD, Chair of the Ajax Scientific Advisory Board, a member of the company’s board of directors and a physician-scientist at MSK. “We are extremely pleased with the progress that has been made since converting our consortium into Ajax Therapeutics and look forward, with this financing, to continuing to pursue our selectively targeted approaches to treating hematologic malignancies.”
Ajax’s pipeline of novel small molecules is based on disease and structural biology insights from the company’s scientific founders combined with computational drug discovery capabilities through its unique partnership with Schrödinger, the industry leader in molecular simulation software for drug discovery. Through this ongoing collaboration, Ajax and Schrödinger scientists work as an integrated team to precisely design compounds with the desired functional activity, selectivity and drug-like properties.
“When the Ajax team approached us about helping launch the company, we recognized that several of the drug targets under consideration were structurally enabled and highly amenable to our industry-leading computational drug discovery platform to develop novel selectively targeted therapeutics,” said Ramy Farid, PhD, President and CEO and of Schrödinger, Inc. and a member of the board of directors of Ajax. “We are very pleased with the rapid progress made from the discovery to the advancement of Ajax’s lead programs toward the clinic.”
About Ajax Therapeutics
Ajax Therapeutics, Inc. is pursuing uniquely selective approaches to develop novel therapies targeting key cytokine signaling pathways that drive hematologic malignancies. By combining the deep cancer and structural biology insights of our founding scientists with the industry’s most advanced computational drug discovery and protein structure platforms from our founding partner, Schrödinger, Inc., we aim to discover and develop more precisely designed therapies to address significant unmet needs for patients with hematologic malignancies. Please find more information at www.ajaxtherapeutics.com.
NOTE: Dr. Ross Levine serves on the board of directors of, has provided advisory services for, and has equity interests in Ajax Therapeutics. Dr. Levine also has intellectual property rights and interests that MSK has licensed to Ajax. MSK has intellectual property rights and other financial interests related to Ajax.
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network
Source: Ajax Therapeutics, Inc.