FogPharma, a Boston, MA-based company advancing cell-penetrating miniproteins along with an on-demand drug discovery platform for the treatment of serious diseases driven by intractable targets, closed a $66m Series B financing.
The round, which brings total funding to date to $77m, was led by 6 Dimensions Capital, with participation from additional new investors GV (formerly Google Ventures), Blue Pool Capital, Horizons Ventures, Nan Fung Group, and Leerink Partners and existing investors Deerfield Management, Boyu Capital, WuXi AppTec Corporate Ventures, and an international group of non-institutional investors.
Founded by scientist-entrepreneur Dr. Gregory Verdine, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer, whose Harvard lab invented cell-penetrating miniproteins and who coined the term “drugging the undruggable” to describe his life’s mission, FogPharma pairs a broadly-enabling new drug class, designed to access the cell interior, with a parallelized engine to discover – rapidly and on-demand – drugs that engage the most intractable of disease targets. The company’s drug discovery engine has been configured to deliver multiple new medicines in rapid succession, with clinical entry for the first product, a beta-catenin antagonist, by the end of 2019, followed by clinical product candidates addressing other intractable targets.
While FogPharma’s approach has many therapeutic applications, the company’s early focus is on drugging the major, intractable drivers of cancer and on pharmacological management of the immune response.
The company intends to use the funds to advance its beta-catenin inhibitor (iCat) program into Phase 2 development for cancer indications involving Wnt pathway activation, clinical development of its Cbl-b inhibitor program and a third program through IND-enabling studies, and a drug discovery platform for three additional, distinct and differentiated forms of cell-penetrating miniproteins.
In association with the Series B financing, FogPharma has appointed to its board of directors: Dr. Leon Chen, chief executive officer, 6 Dimensions Capital; Dr. Krishna Yeshwant, general partner, GV; and Dr. Rick Klausner, founder and director, Juno Therapeutics, GRAIL and Mindstrong.