Ajax Therapeutics Raises $95M in Series C Financing

Ajax Therapeutics, a NYC- and Cambridge, MA-based biopharmaceutical company developing JAK inhibitors for patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), raised $95M in Series C funding.

The round was led by Goldman Sachs Alternatives with participation by Eli Lilly and Company, Vivo Capital, RA Capital Management, Point72 and existing investors EcoR1 Capital, Boxer Capital, Schrödinger, Inc. and Inning One Ventures. Concurrent with the financing, Amit Sinha, Head of Life Sciences Investing and Ming Cheah, PhD, Vice President, within Life Sciences Investing at Goldman Sachs Alternatives, joined Ajax’s board of directors.

The company intends to use the funds for the clinical development of its first-in-class Type II JAK2 inhibitor, AJ1‑11095, for the treatment of myelofibrosis, as well as advancing its pipeline of treatments for MPNs.

Led by CEO Martin Vogelbaum, Ajax Therapeutics is pursuing selective approaches to develop novel next generation therapies for myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), including myelofibrosis. By combining the deep cancer and structural biology insights of the company’s founding scientists with advanced computational drug discovery and protein structure platforms, Ajax aims to discover and develop more precisely designed therapies to address the significant unmet needs for patients with MPNs. 

AJ1-11095 was designed by Ajax, through a collaboration with Schrödinger, to be a next generation JAK2 inhibitor by using structure-based drug design and computational methods at scale to selectively bind the Type II conformation of the JAK2 kinase and to provide greater efficacy with disease modification compared to all currently approved JAK2 inhibitors which bind the Type I conformation of JAK2. Additionally, AJ1-11095 has been shown in preclinical studies to reverse marrow fibrosis, reduce mutant allele burden and maintain efficacy against MPN cells that become resistant to chronic Type I JAK2 inhibition.