Artios Pharma raises $84 Million to take DDR Programs to Next Level

August 14, 2018  Source: FierceBiotech 175


Artios Pharma, a U.K. based company in Cambridge, has raised $84 million to take DNA damage response (DDR) programs to the next level of clinical proof of concept. The series B round reported more big-name investors who plan on investing in the research team, as their earlier work on PARP inhibitor Lynparza set the frame for the DDR programs.

Artios Pharma was founded in 2016 with DDR programs in-licensed from Cancer Research Technology, which had developed Lynparza at KuDOS Pharma. After two years, Artios now has advanced programs and it was in need of $84 million to proceed to the clinic. 

LSP and Andera Partners led the round with the support from Novartis Venture Fund and Pfizer Ventures. Other existing shareholders such as SV Health Investors, Arix Bioscience, M Ventures, AbbVie Ventures and IP Group have also contributed to the series B funding round.

DDR drugs target DNA polymerase theta (Polθ), which plays a significant role in DNA repair pathways. Polθ inhibitors selectively destroy cancer cells by disrupting the DNA repair process. The combination of the inhibitor with chemotherapy or radiotherapy could possibly increase the efficacy of cancer therapy. This validated concept has proven attractive to investors.

Rene Kuijten, the managing partner at LSP, said "Artios represents a unique opportunity to deliver a truly world class biotech company. LSP has worked with Artios' team before at KuDOS which developed olaparib, the first approved PARP inhibitor and used in ovarian and breast cancer, creating a billion dollar market.”

By Ddu