Vividion Therapeutics Launches With $50 Million and a Celgene Alum as Executive Chairman

Vividion Therapeutics Launches With $50 Million and a Celgene Alum as Executive Chairman February 2, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

SAN DIEGO – Since late summer 2016 Tom Daniel, the former president of Celgene ’s global research and early development division, has been blazing a new trail as an adviser to the biotech industry. This morning Daniel took on a new role as executive chairman of startup Vividion Therapeutics.

Vividion is a company focused on developing therapies for unmet clinical needs using its first platform for proteome-wide ligand and target discovery. Backed by Arch Venture Partners and Versant Ventures, Vividion launched with $50 million in Series A funding.

Vividion’s drug discovery platform applies chemical proteomics to expand the “druggable proteome” to address difficult medical targets. The drug discovery platform was developed in the lab of Ben Cravatt, Professor at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

“The founders, experienced team and platform are ruthlessly focused on the accelerated delivery of impactful drugs to serve patients. The platform expands the definition of druggability on mechanism in serious illnesses, while delivering new routes to address highly validated disease targets,” Daniel said in a statement.

What those disease targets are was not specified. In an interview with Endpoints, Daniel declined to discuss R&D specifics, but hinted that the company would look at rare genetic diseases, immuno-oncology and inflammation. Daniel did tell Endpoints that he intends to use his connections in the industry to talk about potential partnerships to support its product development.

While conventional drug discovery is target specific, Vividion said its platform “assesses with high precision and broad coverage protein-drug candidate interactions in native biological systems.” Such a plan creates “proteome-wide drug interaction maps for simultaneous target engagement and global selectivity profiling,” the company said.

Kristina Burow, Managing Director at ARCH. Said in a statement that Vividion’s platform “allows human biology to fundamentally drive the selection of drug targets and to create entry points for targets previously considered to be undruggable.”

“The team at Vividion Therapeutics has created a novel platform based on chemical proteomics and modern synthetic chemistry that will radically expand the druggability of the human proteome. We believe this will lead to innovative therapeutics that have the ability to significantly benefit patients,” said Burow, who also sits on the Vividion board of directors.

In addition to Daniel and Burow, Vividion’s board of directors includes: Tom Woiwode, managing partner at Versant Ventures and Paul Schimmel, a professor of chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute.

Since leaving Celgene in July 2016, Daniel launched his scientific advisory firm, Catalysis Advisors. In addition to his role with Vividion, Daniel has also taken a spot on the board of directors of another startup, Vir Biotechnology, which is helmed by George Scangos, the former chief executive at Biogen .

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