Dewpoint Therapeutics, a company translating the emerging area of biomolecular condensates into drug discovery, launched today with a $60 million Series A.
Founding investor Polaris Partners led the equity round and was joined by Samsara BioCapital, 6 Dimensions Capital, EcoR1 Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Leaps by Bayer.
Dewpoint is harnessing recent insights into biomolecular condensates elucidated by founders Anthony Hyman of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden and Richard Young of the Whitehead Institute with the goal to uncover treatments for the toughest diseases. Biomolecular condensates have long been known but historically understudied because they are difficult to analyze with traditional drug discovery methods like protein crystallography and biochemical activity assays. Condensates are well-defined, membrane-less organelles found inside cells that take advantage of intrinsically disordered regions of proteins to organize certain proteins and nucleic acids in cells, bringing them together in high concentrations to significantly enhance the chemical reactions critical for the cells’ lives. Emerging understanding of condensates offers new insights into cellular function and disease that have not been considered by scientists and drug developers.
“We are thrilled to have the backing of a world-class syndicate, an experienced team, and an interdisciplinary group of scientific advisors to tackle the important work of exploiting this long-overlooked arena of biology for drug discovery in areas of highest unmet medical need,” said Amir Nashat, managing partner of Polaris Partners and CEO of Dewpoint.
Emerging insights into biomolecular condensates have formed at the intersection of disciplines including soft matter physics, biophysics, computation, physical chemistry, pathology, and biology. Dewpoint has assembled a broad scientific advisory board spanning these arenas, to be chaired by MIT Institute Professor Phillip Sharp. Other Scientific Advisors include:
- Simon Alberti, Professor and Chair of Cellular Biochemistry at the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC), Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (CMCB), Technical University Dresden
- Arup Chakraborty, Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor of Physics and Chemistry at MIT
- Bradley Hyman, John B. Penny, Jr. Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Alzheimer’s unit at Mass General Institute for Neurological Disease
- Rudolf Jaenisch, Whitehead Institute Founding Member and Professor of Biology at MIT
- Robert Langer, David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT
- Timothy Mitchison, Hasib Sabbagh Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Harvard Therapeutics Innovation Hub (I-Hub)
- Rohit Pappu, Edwin H. Murty Professor of Engineering in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Center for the Science & Engineering of Living Systems (CSELS) at Washington University in St. Louis
“Insights into biomolecular condensates could provide answers to fundamental mysteries in biology, and we are eager to begin using these to discover new therapeutic approaches to diseases,” said Tony Hyman, co-founder of Dewpoint and Director and Research Group Leader of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics.
Dewpoint is building an interdisciplinary team in Cambridge, MA and Dresden, Germany to industrialize the drugging of condensates. Disease areas affected by condensates include cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, immunology, cardiovascular, women’s health, and virology. Nashat and Tony Hyman will be joined on the board by Dewpoint Chief Scientific Officer Mark Murcko, Srinivas Akkaraju of Samsara BioCapital, and Wei Li of 6 Dimensions Capital.
Source: Company Press Release