Monte Rosa Therapeutics, a Boston, MA-based biotechnology company developing small molecules to degrade disease-related proteins, exited stealth mode with a $32.5m Series A funding.
Backers included Versant Ventures and New Enterprise Associates.
The company intends to use the funds to build out its platform and concurrently develop a portfolio of drug candidates for multiple indications.
Co-founded by Rajesh Chopra, MD, and Ian Collins, PhD, who are prominent leaders in the field of protein degradation, Monte Rosa has developed a platform to rationally design small molecules that reprogram ubiquitin ligases to eliminate disease drivers previously deemed undruggable. The platform includes computational capabilities to predict and model ligase-neosubstrate interactions and quantitative proteomics to obtain protein degradation profiles.
One of its portfolio leads, MRT-048, has demonstrated a differentiated degradation profile and promising in vivo activity in several models of resistant breast cancer. The molecule is undergoing further preclinical development and safety testing. The company, which expects to file one or more IND submissions during 2021, will soon launch a Series B financing to back the development of multiple clinical-stage programs. To capture the full potential of its technology platform, Monte Rosa also will explore discovery-stage pharma collaborations.
In 2018, the company was launched from Ridgeline, Versant’s Discovery Engine based in the Basel Technology Park, and is now headquartered in Boston, MA, with research operations in both Boston and Basel, Switzerland.
Nicolas Thomä, PhD, a chemical and structural biologist at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, joined Monte Rosa as scientific advisor.