CAMBRIDGE, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mission Therapeutics (“Mission”), a drug discovery and development company focused on selectively inhibiting deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs), today announced that it has raised $15m (£12m) in equity investment. The round was led by existing investor Pfizer Ventures, the venture capital arm of Pfizer Inc. (“Pfizer”)(NYSE: PFE).
Mission and Pfizer Inc. have also expanded their relationship by entering into an evaluation and option agreement for DUB target validation.
Pfizer Ventures has been an investor in Mission Therapeutics since 2013. Today it made a further equity investment into the Company, contributing a super pro rata amount. All other existing investors within Mission joined the round on a pro rata basis. No further financial details have been disclosed.
The new capital will support development of Mission’s world-leading DUB platform, as well as growth of its pipeline of DUB inhibitor programmes.
Expansion of Pfizer collaboration
DUBs have attracted significant interest as potential drug targets. Playing an integral role in protein homeostasis, this large family of enzymes is involved in diverse cellular processes and many disease pathologies.
Under the terms of the evaluation and option agreement, Pfizer will access specific DUB inhibitors from Mission’s platform and test these compounds in phenotypic screens to validate promising drug targets. Pfizer will then have the option to negotiate target exclusivity for each of the DUBs of interest.
The agreement does not include any of Mission’s own lead DUB programs, such as USP30.
Commenting on the agreement, Dr. Denis Patrick, Managing Partner of Pfizer Ventures and Member of Mission’s Board of Directors, said:
“Since our initial investment in Mission seven years ago, the company has grown tremendously and the depth of its scientific expertise and capability has grown alongside it. We are proud to expand our relationship with the company and our scientists are looking forward to a successful collaboration in this important area of research.”
Dr. Anker Lundemose, CEO of Mission Therapeutics added:
“We are pleased to expand our relationship with Pfizer, one of the world’s premier biopharmaceutical companies. We have benefitted from the valuable contributions of Dr. Denis Patrick as a member of our Board of Directors and we look forward to working with the wider Pfizer team.”
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About Mission Therapeutics
Mission Therapeutics is an early-stage drug development company targeting the ubiquitin pathway for the treatment of kidney disease, neurodegenerative disease, rare mitochondrial diseases and fibrosis. The Company has built a leading platform for the discovery and development of first-in-class, small molecule drugs that selectively target deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) – an emerging drug class that is attracting significant commercial interest in the area of protein homeostasis.
Mission has strong links with key academic and research centers, including Prof. Steve Jackson’s Cancer Research UK Laboratories at the University of Cambridge Gurdon Institute, and leading UK centres in neurodegenerative diseases. The Company also has secured major industry partnerships, including its collaboration with AbbVie in November 2018, for the research and preclinical development of specified DUB inhibitors for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. The Company is managed by a team with broad international, commercial and clinical-science experience.
To date the Company has received £73 million / $101 million in funding. Its investors comprise blue chip institutional and corporate investors including: Pfizer Ventures, Sofinnova Partners, Roche Venture Fund, SR One, IP Group and Schroders Adveq. Mission Therapeutics was founded in 2011 and is based at the Babraham Research Campus, Cambridge, UK.