Metacrine, Inc., a San Diego, CA-based innovative biotechnology company developing therapies to benefit patients with liver, gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases, completed a $65m Series C financing.
The round was led by Venrock Healthcare Partners with participation from new investors Franklin Templeton Investments, Deerfield Management, Arrowmark Partners, Invus, Lilly Asia Ventures, Vivo Capital, and other undisclosed investors, and existing investors Arch Venture Partners, venBio, Polaris Partners, NEA, and Alexandria Venture Investments.
Founded in 2015 and led by Ken Song, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Metacrine has leveraged its internal team in biology, chemistry, and protein engineering to discover and develop novel therapies. The company’s lead program is focused on the farnesoid X receptor (FXR), which represents a promising target to treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a debilitating condition that is becoming a leading cause for liver transplant and for which no approved therapies exist today.
In addition to NASH, Metacrine has identified a potential role for FXR in diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
The company, which has now raised a total of $125m in equity financing, intends to use the capital to advance its clinical development pipeline, including its lead candidate MET409 for the potential treatment of NASH, IBS-D, and inflammatory bowel disease, and to expand its pipeline through continued internal discovery efforts. A Phase 1 clinical study of MET409 is planned to begin later this month.