SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Blade Therapeutics, a private biopharmaceutical company revolutionizing the treatment of fibrotic disease, today announced the closing of a Series B financing led by Deerfield Management, that will bring $45 million into the company when all milestones are completed. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the selection and development of lead molecules designed to modify the pathobiology of fibrotic diseases. The round included new investors Deerfield Management and Pfizer Venture Investments with new equity investments also made by Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Blade’s existing investors, MPM Capital and Osage University Partners, also participated to their full pro rata in the capital raise. Joining the Board of Directors will be William Slattery and Cameron Wheeler, Ph.D. from Deerfield Management and Elaine Jones, Ph.D. from Pfizer Venture Investments. The seven-member Board also includes MPM’s James Scopa, J.D. and M.B.A, Luke Evnin, Ph.D., Peter Van Vlasselaer, Ph.D. ARMO Biosciences, and Chief Executive Officer Wendye Robbins, M.D.
The company was founded on visionary science from the laboratory of Harry (Hal) Dietz, M.D., Victor A. McKusick Professor of Genetics and Medicine, Johns Hopkins University and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. Through his investigations into causes of Marfan Syndrome and Stiff Skin Syndrome, Dr. Dietz elucidated novel biological pathways that contribute to tissue fibrosis and dysfunction.
William Slattery, Partner, at Deerfield Management said, “We believe that Blade has identified opportunities to significantly advance the treatment of fibrotic conditions with disease-modifying therapies. Blade has rapidly expanded the understanding of the biology of fibrosis, enabling the discovery of new molecules that have the potential to prevent the onset of disease as well as reverse its advances.”
Cameron Wheeler, Ph.D., also at Deerfield, added, “Blade’s focus on rational design through crystal structures has been both impressive and productive. These insights have given the Blade team novel insights into a target that has never before been successfully drugged. Using this approach to novel drug discovery combined with the company’s impressive team gives us great confidence in the future for this company.”
Stated Luke Evnin, Ph.D., the Chair of Blade’s Board and co-founder of Blade’s initial backer, MPM Capital, “Fibrosis is a disease area about which I care deeply, having served as Chairman of the Scleroderma Research Foundation since 2002. I find the progress this talented team has made since MPM helped launch the company in mid-2015 extremely encouraging, both professionally and personally.”
Added Chief Executive Officer Wendye Robbins, M.D., “Now backed by this strong group of premier life science investors and strategic and equity pharma investors, we have the resources to accelerate our path to clinical development. Our scientists are world class experts who previously brought cutting edge therapies and biomarker strategies to the clinic for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and Hepatitis C Virus. At Blade we are committed to building the leading company in anti-fibrotic drug discovery and development.”
About Blade Therapeutics
Blade Therapeutics is a private biopharmaceutical company revolutionizing the treatment of fibrotic disease. Blade is exploiting novel target biology to halt the progression of fibrotic disease. Blade began operations in the third quarter of 2015 with a license to ground-breaking research from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (Laboratory of Hal Dietz, M.D.) and funding from MPM Capital. The company’s talented and dedicated team of scientists are committed to the discovery and development of novel therapies that can modify the course of multiple fibrotic diseases. Please visit www.blademed.com for more information.