Biotechnology firm Mediar Therapeutics has announced a $105m financing, which includes a recent $85m Series A round.
The Series A round was co-led by Novartis Venture Fund and Sofinnova Partners and has seen participation from Pfizer Ventures, Mission BioCapital, Gimv, Pureos, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly & Company, Ono Venture Investment and Mass General Brigham Ventures.
Mediar was established on the pioneering research on fibrosis from Mass General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals in collaboration with Mass General Brigham Ventures with the aim to transform fibrotic disease therapy by targeting myofibroblast, which is an important cell type that drives advances fibrosis.
Mediar is led by industry veterans – CEO Rahul Ballal, and chief scientific officer Paul Yaworsky.
The board of Mediar is being joined by Nandita Shangari from Novartis Venture Fund, Maina Bhaman from Sofinnova Partners, and Andreas Jurgeit from Gimv.
The company’s portfolio consists of three novel targets, which besides being detectible in blood also correlate to disease severity, thereby allowing a de-risked approach to clinical development.
Proceeds from the Series A round will support the advancement of Mediar’s portfolio of first-in-class antibody treatments, which offer potential to tackle fibrosis at varying stages of the disease, with two programmes progressing into human studies next year.
Ballal said: “We are applying a precision approach to our fibrosis programs to improve the odds of success in human proof-of-concept studies and identify the right patients for each therapy. “The support of this broad syndicate of investors enables us to leverage our deep insights into fibrosis pathology and drive meaningful clinical impact in the treatment landscape.”
Yaworsky added: “We are particularly excited about our lead WISP-1 programme, which is near candidate selection and has advanced largely through investigations in primary human preclinical systems.
“We are also progressing promising leads from our two other first-in-class portfolio programs into preclinical in-vivo proof-of-concept studies.”
In the industrialised world, fibrosis is claimed to contribute to 45% of deaths.