Monte Rosa Therapeutics raises Series B funds for drug development

25 September 2020 (Last Updated October 1st, 2020 06:44)

Monte Rosa Therapeutics has raised $96m in a Series B funding round to further develop its drug pipeline.

Monte Rosa Therapeutics raises Series B funds for drug development
Funds will be used to progress the company’s drug candidates to human trials. Credit: Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

Monte Rosa Therapeutics has raised $96m in a Series B funding round to develop its drug pipeline.

New investors Aisling Capital, HBM Healthcare Investments, Cormorant Asset Management, GV, Amzak Health, Casdin Capital, Sixty Degree Capital and Cambridge Asset Management contributed to the financing round.

Furthermore, existing investor New Enterprise Associates and founding investor Versant Ventures participated.

Monte Rosa, a spinout from Cancer Research UK-funded drug discovery research at The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR), formed in 2018 in alliance with Versant Ventures’ drug discovery engine Ridgeline Therapeutics.

Based in Boston, US, the company focuses on developing precision medicines that can degrade disease-causing proteins.

Protein-degrading molecules co-opt ubiquitin ligases, large cellular proteins associated with natural cell degradation, to help in destroying target proteins that cause cancer, among others.

As well as pipeline development, the company will use the Series B funds to progress its investigational drug candidates into human trials.

Monte Rosa also plans to strengthen its platform capability to design and create precision drugs for genomically characterised disorders that standard of care cannot manage, the company said.

In June, the company closed a Series A funding round worth $32.5m.

Monte Rosa developed a drug discovery platform, which integrates small-molecule protein degraders with its proteomics and structural biology capabilities.

The small molecules act as ‘molecular glue’ and help ubiquitin ligases attach with other protein targets.

Chemists in the Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit at the ICR, who also created the initial protein degraders library, also discovered a potential breast cancer drug, MRT-048, in the company’s pipeline.

Monte Rosa Therapeutics CEO Markus Warmuth said: “With this financing, we are now well-positioned to broadly develop our integrated drug discovery platform and advance multiple new therapies toward clinical development.”