Clinic business

With clinic in sight, Greg Verdine’s startup pockets $178 million for new class of targeted therapies – Endpoints News

ARCH Venture Partners embraces Greg Verdine’s vision of a world where no targets are off limits – with the goal of finally pushing the first drug into the clinic.

The size of the Series D funding – $178 million – matches the grand ambitions FogPharma has outlined with its Helicon compounds, a new class of polypeptide drugs that it claims combines the cell-penetrating ability of small molecules with the toughness of Organic Products.

The biotech hopes to file an IND for FOG-001, a TCF-blocking β-catenin inhibitor, by mid-2023, months after a Q4 2022 screening that Verdine offered at the time of Series C of $107 million from Fog in the spring. 2021. It also aligns a list of programs reaching cancer targets that have been out of reach by other approaches: TEAD, NRAS, Pan-KRAS, ERG and Cyclin E1.

Verdine, a Harvard chemist and serial entrepreneur, started FogPharma in 2016 with the idea of ​​a “corset” that would lock polypeptide structures in place so they could better enter cells, focus on specific targets, and stay longer in the body.

Rick Klausner

Along with the round, he also recruited Rick Klausner — the former head of the National Cancer Institute of Juno, Lyell and now Altos Labs fame — to the board.

These Helicon polypeptides, Verdine said, “represent the future of precision medicine.”

The round included two other new investors, Milky Way Investments and Fidelity Management & Research Company, as well as a group of existing investors. Other backers include VenBio Partners, Deerfield Management, GV, Cormorant Asset Management, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Invus, Farallon Capital Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, Casdin Capital and PagsGroup.