Cydan, a Cambridge, MA-based developer of innovative therapies for patients living with rare genetic diseases, raised $34m in funding.
New investor Longitude Capital joined existing investors New Enterprise Associates (who led the round) along with Pfizer Venture Investments, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Lundbeckfond Ventures.
Led by Chris Adams, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer, Cydan leverages an accelerator approach to identify compelling scientific ideas and promising drug candidates from academic, government, biotech and pharma sources. Using its team and proven de-risking process, the company advances investigational therapies with potential utility in underserved rare, monogenic diseases through pre-clinical development. Upon completion of the de-risking phase, Cydan establishes independent companies that can advance these programs through clinical development and regulatory approval to, ultimately, deliver new treatments to patients.
The syndicate of Cydan investors will fund Series A financings for these new companies to help them reach human proof-of-concept.
Launched in January 2015, Cydan’s first spinout company, Vtesse, is developing a novel therapy for Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC). Vtesse was acquired by Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in April 2017 for an upfront consideration of $200m.
Cydan’s second company, Imara, was launched in 2016 and is developing IMR-687, a novel treatment for Sickle Cell disease (SCD). Imara recently completed a Phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers with its lead candidate, IMR-687, and plans to initiate a Phase 2 study in adult patients with SCD by the end of 2017.
In addition to the financing, Cydan has expanded its leadership team by hiring Shi Yin Foo, M.D. Ph.D. MMSc as chief medical officer and Niels Svenstrup, Ph.D. as vice president of development.