Tarveda Therapeutics, Inc., (formerly Blend Therapeutics), a Watertown, MA-based biopharmaceutical company, secured $38m in Series C financing.
The round was co-led by new investor Novo A/S and existing investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with participation from existing investors Flagship Ventures, NanoDimension and Eminent Venture Capital. Concurrent with the financing, Nilesh Kumar of Novo Ventures (US) Inc. and Frank Torti, M.D. of NEA will join Tarveda’s Board of Directors while Drew Fromkin will serve as interim Chairman of the Board.
Led by Drew Fromkin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tarveda Therapeutics is discovering and developing Pentarins™ as a new class of targeted anti-cancer medicines to advance the treatment of patients with solid tumor cancers.
The company, rebranded to clearly highlight its differentiated approach to treating cancer, intends to use the funds to advance a pipeline of Pentarins that it is developing for a range of solid tumor targets. In particular, the funding will support the advancement of the lead drug candidate, PEN-221, into Phase 1 clinical studies in mid-2016.
PEN-221 is designed to target the somatostatin receptor for treatment of patients with neuroendocrine cancers including small cell lung cancer. With the availability of diagnostic tools to identify patients with over-expression of the somatostatin receptor in their tumors, Tarveda is employing a targeted strategy for clinical development by enrolling patients in the Phase 1 study who have been identified as most likely to benefit from treatment with PEN-221.
In a related note, Tarveda also announced the appointment of Leila Alland, M.D. to the position of Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Alland brings more than 15 years of pharmaceutical drug development experience with a focus on oncology including leadership roles in clinical development at AstraZeneca and Bristol-Myers Squibb.