Myricx Bio Raises $115M in Series A to Advance ADC With Lilly and Novo Backing

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The U.K.-based biotech is the latest to cash in on the hot antibody-drug conjugate space, closing a $115.5 million Series A round co-led by Novo Holdings and participation from Eli Lilly.

Myricx Bio announced Monday that it has netted a £90 million ($115.5 million) Series A investment round to expand its antibody-drug conjugate platform and advance its pipeline into the clinic.

The U.K.-based biotech’s Series A was co-led by Novo Holdings and life science investment company Abingworth with participation from new investors Eli Lilly, Cancer Research Horizons and British Patient Capital, a subsidiary of the U.K. government’s economic development bank. Founding investors Sofinnova Partners and Brandon Capital also participated in the round.

The company said the funds will be used to build out its proprietary N-Myristoyltransferase inhibitor (NMTi) antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) payload platform and advance its pipeline of NMTi-ADCs through the proof-of-concept stage. According to Myricx, NMT is an enzyme that can add a lipid modification to several protein targets that are necessary for cancer cell survival.

“Myricx now has the resources to grow into a fully-fledged R&D company with our own laboratories, and an in-house R&D team with expanded management capabilities,” CEO Robin Carr said in a statement ”We are well positioned to build on our NMTi ADC platform and advance our pipeline as we become a clinical-stage company.”.

According to the company, it is currently prioritizing two ADCs that target cancer-associated antigens, B7-H3 and HER2. However, the specific cancers Myricx plans to target were not revealed. To date, the biotech’s ADCs have shown “excellent preclinical efficacy and safety” on solid tumor-associated antigens and cancer cell types. Myricx also said that the ADCs have achieved complete and durable tumor regressions in multiple solid cancer models and potent bystander activity.

“The scientific rationale behind its novel payload chemistry gives us confidence that NMTi-ADCs have the potential to greatly expand the current repertoire of ADC applications beyond the current standard-of-care payload classes, creating opportunities for new treatment options for patients,” Michael Bauer, partner in the venture investments group at Novo Holdings said in a statement.

ADCs have been the subject of heavy interest from companies such as Merck, Ipsen and Johnson & Johnson, who have all made purchases of biotechs in the space this year. The field has also attracted Series A funding rounds including Firefly Bio’s $94 million launch to advance a novel platform to treat cancer by merging ADCs with protein degraders. OnCusp Therapeutics also launched earlier this year with a $100 million Series A round to support its ADC candidate.

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