What You Need to Know About Petra Pharma

Published: Jan 16, 2017

What You Need to Know About Petra Pharma
January 9, 2017
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Petra Pharma focuses on novel enzyme targets that play a central role in a variety of important cellular processes.

The company’s co-founders are Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and Nathanael Gray, a professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Center.

The company was founded in 2016. Its office and laboratory will be located within Seattle’s Accelerator facilities at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, New York City’s first and only premier life science park.

Company Leadership
The company’s initial management comes out of Accelerator’s core management team.

Thong Lechief executive officer. Le is also the chief executive officer of Accelerator Corporation. Before joining Accelerator, Le was managing director at WRF Capital, the venture capital investment arm of Washington Research Foundation in Seattle, Washington.

David McElligottchief scientific officer. McElligott joined Accelerator in 2012 as its chief scientific Officer. Before that he was the founding chief scientific officer at Groove Biopharma.

Petra’s board of directors includes:

Barbara DaltonPfizer Ventures
Johnston ErwinEli Lilly and Company
Steve GillisARCH Venture Partners
Thong LeAccelerator. Joel MarcusAlexandria Real Estate Equities
James SullivanAbbVie
Misti UshioHarris & Harris Group
Asish XavierJohnson & Johnson Development Corporation.

Company Financing
The company launched on January 6, 2016, with a $48 million Series A investment round. The investors included Accelerator New York’s investment syndicate partners, AbbVie, Alexandria Venture Investments, ARCH Venture Partners, Eli Lilly and Company, Harris & Harris Group, Innovate NY Fund, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, The Partnership Fund for New York City, Pfizer Venture Investments, Watson Fund and WuXi PharmaTech.

Pipeline
McElligott told BioSpace, “Petra Pharma’s proposed lead program incorporates a compelling preclinical data package for a novel target in both oncology and metabolic disease indications.”

Market Competition
“We believe that the company holds a unique and proprietary advantage and we will not elaborate more at this time,” Le told BioSpace.

What to Look For
Given how young Petra is a company, its focus is on building and growing the company and its initial lead product.

See Top Life Science Startups 2017
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See Top Life Science Startups 2015

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