SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ARCH Venture Partners and Versant Ventures today announced the launch of Vividion Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on developing innovative therapeutics that treat major unmet clinical needs using the first platform for proteome-wide ligand and target discovery. ARCH and Versant co-led today’s $50 million Series A financing and were joined by founding investor Cardinal Partners.
Vividion Therapeutics has advanced a novel drug discovery platform that applies chemical proteomics to expand the druggable proteome and address difficult targets to bring new, transformative treatments to patients with serious illnesses. Making accessible the broad set of proteins expressed in human cells, the company’s cutting edge platform was spun out of the lab of Ben Cravatt, Professor at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif.
In conjunction with the financing, Tom Daniel will join the Board as Executive Chairman. “This Series A financing reflects deep commitment to Vividion Therapeutics’ approach to transform chemical drug discovery and development,” stated Dr. Daniel. “The founders, experienced team and platform are ruthlessly focused on the accelerated delivery of impactful drugs to serve patients. The platform expands the definition of druggability on mechanism in serious illnesses, while delivering new routes to address highly validated disease targets.”
Vividion Therapeutics Novel Scientific Approach
Conventional drug discovery is target-centric; a compound library is screened using a target-specific assay and high-affinity binding ligands are optimized to develop a drug candidate. This approach is limited, as research is performed in artificial systems that fail to account for native protein structure, context and function. Further, conventional target-specific assays are applied to a narrow subset of the proteome and selectivity is assessed later in development.
In contrast, Vividion Therapeutics assesses with high precision and broad coverage protein-drug candidate interactions in native biological systems. This eliminates artifacts and creates proteome-wide drug interaction maps for simultaneous target engagement and global selectivity profiling. Through novel chemistry, Vividion Therapeutics’ platform allows efficient, accelerated optimization of hit fragments into drug candidates. The company has a robust intellectual property estate that includes the assignment of numerous, heretofore unrecognized, druggable sites in the human proteome.
“The Vividion Therapeutics’ platform allows human biology to fundamentally drive the selection of drug targets and to create entry points for targets previously considered to be undruggable,” said Kristina Burow, Managing Director at ARCH. “The team at Vividion Therapeutics has created a novel platform based on chemical proteomics and modern synthetic chemistry that will radically expand the druggability of the human proteome. We believe this will lead to innovative therapeutics that have the ability to significantly benefit patients.”
Vividion Therapeutics Co-Founders
The Vividion Therapeutics founding team includes:
- Benjamin F. Cravatt III, Ph.D., Professor and Co-Chair, Department of Molecular Medicine, the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute
- Phil S. Baran, Ph.D., Professor, Darlene Shiley Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, the Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute
- Jin-Quan Yu, Ph.D., Frank and Bertha Hupp Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute
- John K. Clarke, Managing General Partner, Cardinal Partners
Vividion Therapeutics Board of Directors
The Vividion Therapeutics scientific team is complemented by a Board of Directors that has significant experience in creating, leading and growing biopharmaceutical companies. In addition to Dr. Cravatt and Mr. Clarke, they include:
- Tom Daniel, M.D., Executive Chairman of the Board, formerly President, Global Research and Early Development, Celgene Corporation
- Kristina Burow, Managing Director, ARCH Venture Partners
- Tom Woiwode, Ph.D., Managing Director, Versant Ventures
- Paul Schimmel, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Department of Chemistry, The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology at The Scripps Research Institute
About Vividion Therapeutics
Vividion Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on developing innovative therapeutics that treat major unmet clinical needs using the first platform for proteome-wide ligand and target discovery. Headquartered in San Diego, CA, Vividion Therapeutics is a private, biotechnology company founded in 2014 with seed financing from Cardinal Partners as a spin out from the labs of Dr. Benjamin Cravatt, Dr. Phil Baran and Dr. Jin-Quan Yu at TSRI. In 2017, Vividion launched with $50 million in Series A financing from ARCH Venture Partners, Versant Ventures and founding investor Cardinal Partners. For more information, please visit www.vividion.com.
About ARCH Venture Partners
ARCH Venture Partners, one of the largest early stage technology venture firms in the U.S., invests in seed and early stage advanced technology companies. ARCH enjoys special recognition as a leader in the commercialization of technologies developed at academic institutions, corporate research labs and national laboratories. Now in its 30th year, ARCH has over $2.5 billion in committed capital through nine venture funds, and has co-founded and provided initial investments for over 200 companies. For more information, please visit http://www.archventure.com/.
About Versant Ventures
Versant Ventures is a leading healthcare investment firm committed to helping exceptional entrepreneurs build the next generation of great healthcare companies. The firm invests across the healthcare sector and at all stages of company development, with an emphasis on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics. With $2.3 billion under management and offices in North America and Europe, Versant has built a team with deep investment, operating, and scientific expertise that enables a hands-on approach to company building. Since the firm's founding in 1999, more than 65 Versant companies have achieved successful acquisitions or IPOs. For more information, please visit www.versantventures.com.
About Cardinal Partners
Cardinal Partners, founded in 1996, is one of the leading venture capital partnerships focused exclusively on healthcare investing. Cardinal specializes in early-stage financing rounds. As veteran company-builders, over the course of their careers, the Cardinal Partners team has invested in over 100 growth companies. Companies funded by Cardinal have a cumulative market valuation exceeding $20 billion. Cardinal’s investors include university endowments, foundations, pension funds, banks, and insurance companies. Cardinal currently manages funds totaling $400 million. For more information, please visit http://www.cardinalpartners.com/.