Padlock Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company dedicated to creating new medicines for destructive autoimmune diseases, raised $23m in Series A financing.
The round was led by Atlas Venture.
The company plans to use the proceeds to deepen its understanding of the role of protein-arginine deiminases (PADs) in autoimmune disease and to advance its pipeline of PAD-directed therapeutics.
Led by Michael Gilman, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Padlock is focused on the role of PAD enzymes in generating citrullinated protein antigens and other autoantigens and proinflammatory mediators in autoimmune disease. By extinguishing autoantigen production instead of suppressing immune system activity, the company hopes to develop fundamentally new treatments for autoimmune disease that complement or surpass current therapies. Clinical applications under evaluation include rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and multiple sclerosis.
The company was co-founded in January 2014 by Atlas Venture and Dr. Gilman in conjunction with Paul Thompson, Ph.D., and Kerri Mowen, Ph.D., whose research at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) on the PAD enzyme family serves as the basis for Padlock’s science.
Padlock was incubated as part of the Atlas Venture seed program. Bruce Booth, D.Phil., partner at Atlas Venture, serves as chairman of the Padlock Board of Directors.
Other members of the board are Dr. Gilman; Marian Nakada, Ph.D., Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.; Nilesh Kumar, Ph.D., MS Ventures; and David Grainger, Ph.D., Index Ventures. Todd Huffman, Ph.D., TSRI, serves as a board observer.
In conjunction with this financing, the company has secured an exclusive license from TSRI to technology and know-how developed by Drs. Thompson and Mowen, which now play an integral role in Padlock’s drug discovery efforts.