Revolution Medicines Raises Another $56 Million and Completes Pivot from Antifungal to Cancer Company
Published: Apr 24, 2018 By Mark Terry
Redwood City, California-based Revolution Medicines closed on a Series B financing round worth $56 million. The round was led by Nextech Invest, with participation from Casdin Capital, Schroder Adveq, The Column Group, Third Rock Ventures and undisclosed institutional investors.
Revolution Medicines launched about three years ago. At that time, it indicated its lead product was an antifungal compound. Since then the company has shifted into oncology. Its lead product targets SNP2, an enzyme that is implicated in many diseases, including cancer. This program is based on Revolution’s work and work from the University of California, San Francisco.
“The SHP2 program has gone from being a concept two and a half years ago to a very sophisticated cancer drug discovery effort,” said Mark Goldsmith, the company’s chief executive officer, as reported by Xconomy.
Originally, Revolution licensed technology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to work on an antifungal compound. Goldsmith indicates that the company has numerous therapeutic areas it is studying, including cancer. In 2015, the antifungal compound was the most advanced, but in late 2016 shifted toward cancer when it added $25 million to its Series A round, which had brought in $45 million earlier.
Xconomy writes, “Revolution’s cancer research has since made more progress. Compared to the earlier antifungal program, Goldsmith says the ability to develop a new cancer treatment offers the opportunity to have a great impact on patients. Revolution is still using the technology that initially yielded the antifungal compound, but the platform is now focused on cancer. The intellectual property associated with the antifungal compound was returned to the Illinois scientist who discovered it, along with the advances that Revolution made with it.”
Revolution’s focus is now on non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and colorectal cancers.
Along with the most recent financing, the company has appointed Ryan Martins as chief financial officer; Xiaolin Wang as senior vice president, clinical development; and Hirdesh Uppal as vice president, development sciences.
Thilo Schroeder, partner at Nextech Invest and Barbara Weber, chief executive officer of Tango Therapeutics, joined Revolution’s board of directors.
“We appreciate the strong support shown by our founding and new investors in this significant financing that will fuel the advancement of our exciting SHP2 program and innovative pipeline,” Goldsmith said in a statement. “The raise of new capital, expansion of our executive team and board with seasoned leaders, and multiple presentations about progress in our SHP2 program at the recent AACR conference all reflect enormous momentum in our effort to outsmart cancer.”
At the recent American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) meeting, the company presented an abstract, “RMC-4550, an allosteric inhibitor of SHP2: Synthesis, structure, and anti-tumor activity.” The abstract outlines the discovery of RMC-4550, a potent and selective SHP2 inhibitor that exhibits a drug-like preclinical profile. The compound showed dose dependent efficacy consistent with target modulation in an EGFR-driven KYSE-520 human esophageal cancer xenograft model.
“I am very enthusiastic about the high-quality cancer drug discovery and development work being done by Revolution Medicines and am pleased to support this world-class team to help advance the company’s mission on behalf of patients in need,” said Schroeder, in a statement.