New Year, New Startup C4 Therapeutics Launches with $73 Million Series A Financing
Published: Jan 07, 2016
-- Company to Translate Groundbreaking Degronimid™ Technology from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute into a New Class of Powerful Therapeutics --
-- Jason Fisherman, M.D. appointed Chief Executive Officer --
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--C4 Therapeutics today announced that it has launched from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute with the closing of a $73 million Series A round of financing. The Company is developing novel treatments in the field of targeted protein degradation using proprietary Degronimid™ technology. The Degronimid platform technology was pioneered since 2010 by researchers in the Bradner Lab at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and described in a seminal paper published in the Journal Science in June 2015. Degronimids represent a new class of small molecule targeted protein degradation (TPD) therapeutics that target disease-causing proteins and facilitate their rapid destruction and clearance from the cell. The Company has executed a license agreement with Dana-Farber that provides worldwide exclusivity for all applications of the Degronimid technology.
“The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has a strong track record of fostering the advancement of groundbreaking discoveries in numerous oncology applications. By licensing these technologies to companies such as C4, we are supporting the further development of highly promising therapeutic candidates for the betterment of human health.”
The groundbreaking Degronimid platform utilizes an innovative, all-chemical solution for potent, targeted and rapid protein degradation. Degronimids are novel chemical adapters that are conjugated with selective small molecules designed to recruit the cell’s ubiquitin/proteasome system (UPS) in order to “naturally” degrade targeted proteins. Degronimids offer a promising solution for the removal of previously undruggable proteins, including those that are known to develop resistance to inhibitors.
“We are building a word-class team of pioneers in the field of targeted protein degradation who are dedicated to our mission of developing a new class of therapeutics that will have a profound effect on many diseases,” said Marc Cohen, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of C4 Therapeutics. “The use of Degronimids as a strategy for targeting traditionally undruggable proteins and overcoming resistance is extremely promising. By removing the need for ongoing target inhibition from the therapeutic equation, TPD therapeutics represent a new paradigm in drug development. C4 is a company that will develop many drugs over time in proprietary and partnered development programs.”
C4 Therapeutics was co-founded by Ken Anderson, M.D., Kraft Family Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Director of the Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center and LeBow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics at Dana-Farber, and a world-renowned expert in protein degradation and multiple myeloma; Nathanael Gray, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Principal Investigator at Dana-Farber and an expert in kinase inhibitors and drug discovery; software and biotech entrepreneur Marc Cohen; and James “Jay” E. Bradner, M.D., former Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and former Investigator at Dana-Farber. With Dr. Bradner's new role at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, he will no longer have involvement with the Company. C4 will be located at Mass Innovation Labs in Kendall Square, Cambridge. Cobro Ventures led the Series A round, with additional investments from Cormorant Asset Management, The Kraft Group, EG Capital Group, and angel investors. Other investors include Roche and Novartis.
“Drug discovery research around the ubiquitin/proteasome system is an exciting and growing field, and the discovery of Degronimids represents the first all-chemical solution to ligand-mediated protein degradation,” said Dr. Nathanael Gray. “The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has a strong track record of fostering the advancement of groundbreaking discoveries in numerous oncology applications. By licensing these technologies to companies such as C4, we are supporting the further development of highly promising therapeutic candidates for the betterment of human health.”
In conjunction with the Series A financing, C4 announced the appointment of Jason Fisherman, M.D., as Chief Executive Officer of the Company and Member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Fisherman has an extensive track record of building companies as a venture investor at Synthesis Capital and Advent International, a global private equity firm, where his team led or managed over 35 investments in biotechnology, medical technology and healthcare information services. Prior to joining Advent International, Dr. Fisherman had over ten years of drug research and clinical development experience in biopharmaceutical companies, academia, and at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Fisherman received a B.A. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
“We are pleased to have Dr. Fisherman join our growing team and believe that C4 will greatly benefit from his extensive financial, business and clinical development expertise,” said Cohen. “Dr. Fisherman has 30 years of professional experience within the healthcare and life science industry and will help build our leading Degronimid pharmacology platform.”
About C4 Therapeutics
C4 Therapeutics is developing a new class of targeted protein degradation (TPD) therapeutics for the treatment of a broad range of diseases. Our Degronimid™ platform incorporates highly selective small molecule binders to target disease-causing proteins and facilitate their rapid destruction and clearance from the cell through the natural ubiquitin/proteasome system (UPS). Because of this distinctive mechanism, Degronimids are capable of hitting many more targets, including those previously thought to be undruggable, while reducing the potential for drug resistance. The broad applicability of Degronimids, and our chemical biology platform designed for accelerated validation, have the potential to make an unprecedented impact across many diseases through multiple industry collaborations as well as proprietary programs.
More information about C4 Therapeutics is available at www.C4Therapeutics.com.
MacDougall Biomedical Communications
Kari Watson, 781-235-3060