SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--True North Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing novel therapies that selectively inhibit the Complement system to treat rare diseases, announced today that it has completed a $40 million Series C equity financing. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the clinical development of its lead complement inhibitor, TNT009, for Cold Agglutinin Disease (CAD), as well as other rare diseases targeting the Complement system. The Series C round is led by New Leaf Venture Partners, a leading institutional healthcare fund, and includes participation by other new investors Perceptive Advisors and Cowen Private Investments, as well as existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, MPM Capital, OrbiMed, SR One, and Baxalta Ventures. In conjunction with the financing, Isaac Manke, PhD, Partner at New Leaf Venture Partners, will join the True North Therapeutics board of directors.
The Series C financing will provide True North with funding to accelerate clinical development of TNT009 through potential registration-enabling clinical studies for CAD, a rare autoimmune disease involving destruction of red blood cells causing anemia, fatigue and potentially fatal thrombosis. In addition, funding will be used to advance TNT009 and other complement inhibitors from True North’s pipeline to treat additional rare diseases targeting the Complement system. True North initiated a Phase 1a clinical study with TNT009 earlier in 2015 and plans to begin a Phase 1b clinical study later this month in patients.
“We have great confidence in the True North team and their ability to fully execute on the potential of its pipeline of Complement inhibitors for rare diseases including its lead program, TNT009, as it moves to clinical proof-of-concept studies,” said Isaac Manke PhD, Partner at New Leaf Venture Partners. “True North’s approach to antibody-driven rare diseases is truly differentiated with distinct advantages over other agents on the market or in development. We look forward to working with True North as they make progress developing new treatment options for patients.”
With TNT009 and additional drug candidates in its pipeline, True North is positioned as the first clinical company to selectively block the Classical Complement pathway to treat rare diseases in hematology, transplantation, dermatology, and other areas. TNT009 inhibits C1s, a serine protease within the C1-complex in the Complement system. The C1-complex is activated by immune complexes and then triggers a powerful enzymatic cascade; aberrant activation of this pathway can result in a range of cellular pathologies in numerous autoimmune and alloimmune conditions.
“We are delighted by the strong support and recognition we received in this Series C financing and to have expanded our list of recognized life science investors to include New Leaf Venture Partners as well as Perceptive Advisors, and Cowen Private Investments,” said Nancy Stagliano, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of True North. “We look forward to the valuable perspectives Isaac will bring to True North’s board as we rapidly execute on our clinical program for TNT009 in Cold Agglutinin Disease and to make a difference in this neglected patient population.”
About Cold Agglutinin Disease (CAD)
Cold Agglutinin Disease (CAD) is a rare autoimmune hemolytic anemia in which a patient’s own auto-antibodies target and destroy the red blood cells, causing anemia, fatigue and potentially fatal thrombosis. The prevalence of primary CAD is approximately 20 per million. Current standard-of-care drug therapies for CAD include steroids and anti-CD20 monoclonal antibodies. However, many of these patients have high rates of anemia and do not respond to these treatments. Severe cases of autoimmune hemolytic anemias, such as CAD, are prone to life-threatening thromboembolic events.
TNT009 is a first-in-class monoclonal antibody that selectively inhibits the Classical Complement pathway by targeting C1s, a serine protease within the C1-complex in the Complement pathway of the immune system. By inhibiting C1s, TNT009 prevents the downstream disease processes resulting in phagocytosis, inflammation, and cell lysis. With a unique mechanism of action and high target specificity, TNT009 selectively prevents disease mechanisms in the Classical Complement cascade while maintaining the important immune surveillance provided by the Alternative Complement Pathway and Lectin Complement Pathway. TNT009 is currently in clinical development for the treatment of Cold Agglutinin Disease (CAD), a rare disease in hematology. Because numerous other diseases are known to share the basic underlying mechanism addressed by TNT009, the potential for other indications is clear.
About True North Therapeutics
True North Therapeutics is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing a pipeline of novel therapies that selectively target the Complement pathway of the immune system to address fundamental mechanisms in rare diseases with high unmet need. The company’s lead drug candidate, TNT009, offers a novel approach for treating Complement-mediated diseases by selectively inhibiting a target in the Classical Complement pathway. True North’s antibody drug development is focused on the treatment of rare diseases mediated by the Complement system in hematology, transplantation, and dermatology. True North Therapeutics is located in South San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit www.truenorthrx.com.
About NLV Partners
New Leaf Venture Partners is a leader in healthcare technology venture investing. Our investment professionals bring a unique blend of technical, clinical, and operational experience to our investments, working closely with our entrepreneurs and management teams to help build successful companies. We invest in both public and private biopharmaceutical companies as well as healthcare-related information technology companies.
New Leaf currently manages over $1 billion in assets. This includes NLV’s funds, New Leaf Ventures I, L.P., New Leaf Ventures II, L.P., New Leaf Ventures III, L.P. and New Leaf Growth Fund I, L.P. New Leaf was formed in 2005 as the healthcare spinoff from the Sprout Group, one of the oldest U.S. venture capital funds. For more information please visit http://www.nlvpartners.com.