Biotech closes $42 million Series A-1 financing to advance autoimmune and oncology programs; Names new executive leadership
Norwalk, CT, January 27, 2021 – The Myeloma Investment Fund (MIF), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), announced its portfolio company Abcuro, Inc, has raised $42 million in Series A-1 financing and made new appointments to its executive leadership. Abcuro is a clinical-stage biotechnology company based in Newton, MA, that is developing a new immune checkpoint therapy for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer.
With this latest round of financing, the MIF is joined by new investors to advance Abcuro’s pipeline past the pre-clinical stage. They include Mass General Brigham Ventures, Sanofi Ventures, Pontifax Venture Capital, Hongsen Investment Group, RA Capital Management, and Samsara BioCapital. Concurrent with the financing, Abcuro has named biotech industry veterans John B. Edwards as Executive Chair of its Board of Directors and David de Graaf, Ph.D., as Chief Executive Officer.
The MIF’s investment in Abcuro supports its ongoing development of preclinical therapies directed against a novel immune checkpoint target, KLRG1. Blocking KLRG1 signaling may augment the immune system’s ability to combat tumors by activating Natural Killer (NK) and T cells, which represents a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of multiple myeloma.
“New immune agents that enhance NK and T cell activity are part of the next wave in cancer immunotherapies. This innovative approach, using a second-generation checkpoint inhibitor that activates both T and NK cells, is rationally designed to promote anti-tumor immunity,” said Hearn Jay Cho MD, PhD, MMRF Chief Medical Officer.
About the Myeloma Investment Fund
The Myeloma Investment Fund (MIF), is a venture philanthropy fund that invests in promising companies, clinical assets, and technologies in oncology to accelerate the delivery of precision medicine approaches and a cure to every multiple myeloma patient. The MIF collaborates closely with portfolio companies to help them advance multiple myeloma research, providing access to longstanding relationships with pharmaceutical companies and academic medical centers, a clinical network of 23 sites, and data from the largest genomics data set of any cancer. This evergreen fund is supported entirely by philanthropy; all profits will be reinvested back into research for more effective treatments until there is a cure for every patient. For more information, visit MyelomaInvestmentFund.org.
Abcuro’s mission is to develop a new generation of immunomodulatory therapeutics for treating both autoimmunity and cancer. The company uses proprietary analysis of transcriptome data from human disease to identify new approaches to target key compartments of the immune system. Abcuro was launched in 2016 and is based in Newton, Massachusetts.