San Francisco-based biotech Eikon Therapeutics has made waves in the bay after managing to raise $106m in its Series C funding round.
This latest cash injection will be used to fund and support a range of acquisitions intended to diversify their development pipeline, which were announced alongside the fundraise, as per a 1 June announcement.
The company acquired the global rights to develop and commercialise clinical-stage Toll-like receptor 7 and 8 (TLR7/8) agonist immunomodulators from the Edison, New Jersey-based Seven and Eight Biotherapeutics. Pledging to continue clinical development, the company aims to develop these agonists as potential treatments for multiple tumour types.
Eikon also acquired PARP1-selective inhibitors from Shanghai, China-based Impact Therapeutics, that are though to improve upon existing unselective dual PARP1/2 inhibitory agents in cancer treatment. Bringing Impact’s IMP1734 into clinical development, Eikon plans to develop and produce the PARP-1 selective inhibitor globally, excluding China, as well as developing a second brain-penetrant PARP1-selective inhibitor. The companies will also file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application by the end of the year.
The company also gained a suite of preclinical assets from San Francisco-based biotech Cleave Therapeutics. While the company did not specify the target of these potential drugs, they have applications in cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, and more specifically related to protein homeostasis, DNA damage repair and chromatin remodelling.
Founded in 2019, the Silicon Valley biotech previously raised over half a billion dollars in a series B funding round last year, totalling $775 million of investment.
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Board Chair of Eikon, and former executive vice president of Merck, Roger Perlmutter claimed that these acquisitions gave Eikon a strong portfolio addressing unmet medical needs.
The company was co-founded by Nobel Prize winner Eric Betzig, and positioned to harness his expertise in super-resolution microscopy. The company’s platform measures the real-time movement of individual proteins and protein populations in living cells. The proprietary, artificial intelligence (AI)-driven protein population dynamics measurements are though to influence future clinical trial designs.
Roy Baynes, Chief Medical Officer of Eikon and fellow Merck alum said that these latest acquisitions are part of the company’s focus on “high-potential assets that Eikon is uniquely positioned to develop, and which complement our internal discovery programs”.