EpiBiologics Launches with $50 million Series A Financing to Advance Next-Generation Protein Degradation Platform
Co-incubated by Mubadala Capital and Polaris Partners, EpiBiologics' EpiTAC platform is expanding protein degradation to membrane and extracellular targets
Former Seagen executive Shyra Gardai, Ph.D., joins as Chief Scientific Officer
SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- EpiBiologics, a biotechnology company building a next-generation antibody-based protein degradation platform for membrane and extracellular drug targets, launched today with $50 million in Series A funding. The funding was co-led by Mubadala Capital and Polaris Partners, with participation from Vivo Capital and GV. The company’s technology platform is based on the scientific work of EpiBiologics’ co-founder and renowned antibody engineer Dr. Jim Wells of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the platform intellectual property has been exclusively licensed from UCSF.
Protein degradation technologies are of high interest to the medical community because of their potential to attack disease targets that have been historically difficult to drug. However, companies pursuing these approaches have focused primarily on intracellular proteins. EpiBiologics' proprietary EpiTAC platform expands the targeted protein degradation landscape to the extracellular space, enabling the company to target both membrane proteins and secreted proteins through the use of genetically encoded bifunctional antibodies. As reported in Nature Biotechnology and the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the Wells Lab at UCSF demonstrated that membrane E3 ligases and cytokine receptors could be leveraged as cell surface ligands to internalize and degrade a number of membrane or extracellular drug targets. EpiBiologics has now expanded the platform and built an atlas of tissue-specific degrader antibodies to target proteins for new treatments for a range of diseases, including cancer, immunology and neuro-related conditions.
"Our vision has been to build EpiBiologics to be the leading company in the extracellular degradation space," said Dr. Rami Hannoush, co-founder, interim CEO and President of EpiBiologics, who has also served as Chief Scientific Officer of the company since its inception. "Since launching the company, the team at EpiBiologics has been able to further validate and industrialize the EpiTAC platform, creating a fit-for-purpose atlas of degraders. The current financing will enable us to expand and validate the platform, advance our pipeline of drug candidates, and further build our talented team of scientists and protein engineers.”
To strengthen their leadership and support their expansion, EpiBiologics also announced the appointment of Shyra Gardai as its incoming Chief Scientific Officer. With over 20 years of scientific and pre-clinical drug development experience across multiple key therapeutic areas, Dr. Gardai has served in roles of increasing responsibilities in the biotechnology industry, including most recently as Vice President of Therapeutic Discovery Research at Seagen.
“I’m looking forward to working with the talented team at EpiBiologics to develop innovative therapeutics for hard-to-treat diseases,” said Dr. Gardai, CSO of EpiBiologics. “Leveraging EpiBiologics’ technology platform we are taking a novel approach to degrade disease-causing targets that evade existing therapeutic approaches.”
“EpiBiologics represents a key example of our company formation efforts, where we worked hand-in-hand with the founding scientists to build the company from the ground up. We have a strong conviction in the transformative potential of EpiBiologics to advance the field of protein degradation,” said Alaa Halawa, Executive Director and Head of the U.S. Ventures business at Mubadala Capital.
“We believe EpiBiologics' core technology has the potential to greatly expand the scope of therapeutically relevant targets that can be successfully drugged through degradation, and we are excited to support their growing team of talented scientists, drug developers and industry leaders,” said Alexandra Cantley, Partner at Polaris Partners.
EpiBiologics is building a next-generation protein degradation platform that targets membrane and extracellular proteins. EpiBiologics was founded in 2022 based on the pioneering work from academic founder Dr. Jim Wells of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The Company’s proprietary EpiTAC platform is a modular antibody-based system that enables the precise degradation of disease-driving membrane and extracellular proteins in a tissue-specific manner. Headquartered in San Mateo, EpiBiologics is backed by leading healthcare investors and aims to develop first-in-class and best-in-class targeted therapies across multiple therapeutic areas. For more information, please visit epibiologics.com and follow us on LinkedIn.
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