– Financing Round Led by OrbiMed with participation from Lumira Ventures, Harrington Discovery Institute and existing investors Advent Life Sciences and Belinda Termeer
– Therapy development focused on addressing a fundamental mechanism in cancer-driving oncogenes
NATICK, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–PIC Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing life-changing medicines for patients with cancer, today announced the closing of a $35 million Series A financing led by OrbiMed. Other new investors participating in this financing include Lumira Ventures and Harrington Discovery Institute. The company’s existing investors including Advent Life Sciences and Belinda Termeer also participated and provided initial seed financing instrumental to meeting key milestones.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the company’s development-stage small molecule drug, an allosteric protein translation modulator targeting eIF4E, into first-in-man, first-in-mechanism clinical studies in advanced metastatic breast cancer. The proceeds will also support expansion of the company’s pipeline of emerging oncology indications.
PIC Therapeutics is targeting a fundamental mechanism at the convergence of many oncogenic signaling pathways that results in apoptotic cancer cell death while sparing normal cells. Allosteric modulation of eIF4E offers many advantages to previous approaches, and simultaneously addresses multiple drivers of pharmacology, allowing the company’s small molecules to truly drive differential CAP dependent translation in target cells.
Preclinical studies show that PIC compounds modulate, but do not block, protein translation. PIC compounds mechanistically modulate cellular proteomes, leading to rapid and significant reduction in cancer cell viability via apoptosis. Inducing apoptosis rather than senescence is an important distinguishing feature of PIC’s approach to this elusive target.
“This financing from a committed and distinguished investor syndicate, which includes new and existing investors, underscores the progress we’ve made to advance our lead program toward our goal of cancer therapies that broadly address cancer-driving oncogenes via a fundamental mechanism in protein translational modulation,” said Katherine Bowdish, Chief Executive Officer of PIC Therapeutics. “We are well positioned to build a leading mechanistic-based oncology company that brings promising science to cancer patients with drug resistant tumors.”
“We are excited to partner with PIC Therapeutics as they build a differentiated targeted oncology company, and we look forward to supporting the team as they work towards achieving key development goals over the coming years,” said Tal Zaks, Partner of OrbiMed Advisors.
“Founded on the scientific work of Dr. Gerhard Wagner at Harvard University and Dr. Nahum Sonenberg at McGill University, PIC Therapeutics has developed a truly novel approach for eIF4E, an important target in resistant cancers. We are pleased to work with the PIC team and its investors to enable new frontiers in targeted mechanistic oncology with the potential to transform the treatment paradigm for cancer patients,” commented Gerry Brunk, Managing Director of Lumira Ventures.
About PIC Therapeutics
PIC Therapeutics is a biotechnology company pioneering the discovery and development of first-in mechanism, first-in-class small molecule medicines focused on fundamentally changing how we treat cancer by developing therapeutics that modulate protein translation. PIC Therapeutics targets a “master switch” of cancer signaling pathways, selectively impacting oncogene protein production by altering the Pre-Initiation Complex (PIC) that drives their mRNA translation. PIC Therapeutics’ selective approach modulates cancer cell proteomes, impacting multiple dysregulated oncogenic drivers leading to a powerful new generation of cancer-treating therapeutics. Our agents offer the opportunity to address both drug resistance and tumor heterogeneity, issues that plague many existing treatments. For more information visit www.pictherapeutics.com. PIC is guided by a dedication to improving cancer patient outcomes and to realizing the potential of our programs to their benefit.
OrbiMed is a leading healthcare investment firm, with approximately $18 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests globally across the healthcare industry, from start-ups to large multinational corporations, through a range of private equity funds, public equity funds, and royalty/credit funds. OrbiMed seeks to be a capital provider of choice, providing tailored financing solutions and extensive global team resources to help build world-class healthcare companies. OrbiMed’s team of over 130 professionals is based in New York City, San Francisco, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Herzliya, and other key global markets. www.orbimed.com
About Lumira Ventures
Lumira Ventures is a North American healthcare venture capital firm whose companies have brought dozens of biomedical innovations to patients worldwide over the past two decades. Lumira invests across multiple stages, sectors and therapeutics areas, partnering with mission-driven entrepreneurs and co-investors to build transformative healthcare companies. Lumira has offices in Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver and Boston. For more information please visit www.lumiraventures.com