FogPharma raises $178 million to fight cancer

American biotech company FogPharma has announced $178 million in Series D funding.

The funding round includes new investors ARCH Venture Partners, Milky Way Investments and Fidelity Management & Research Company and existing investors VenBio Partners, Deerfield Management, GV, Cormorant Asset Management, funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Invus, Farallon Capital Management, HBM Healthcare Investments, Casdin Capital and PagsGroup also participated.

Proceeds will be used to advance and accelerate FogPharma’s pipeline of hyperstabilized α-helical (Helicon) polypeptide therapeutics, a proprietary new class of drugs designed to overcome the limitations of today’s precision medicine with broad applicability to the vast majority of target diseases and therapeutic areas.

FogPharma’s lead Helicon polypeptide candidate, FOG-001, is expected to enter clinical development in mid-2023, the first and only β-catenin inhibitor in its class that directly blocks TCF and may be suitable for a significant number of cancer patients .

In addition, FogPharma is advancing other first-in-class programs against important, biologically proven cancer targets that remain elusive to other approaches, including TEAD, NRAS, Pan-KRAS, ERG and Cyclin E1.

Fast progress

“FogPharma continues to make rapid progress on our month-long mission to achieve universal access to medicine – a world free of medicine’s off-limits targets,” said Gregory Verdin, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of FogPharma.

“We believe that Helicon polypeptides, a compelling new therapeutic modality, represent the future of precision medicine. We are thrilled with the support of our investors and will continue to build on our platform capabilities, pipeline of products targeting a significant percentage of cancer populations, and our phenomenal team at all levels as we strive to create one of the most impactful new drug classes in history.” .

FogPharma’s Druggability Platform and Helicon Polypeptide Therapeutics

Existing drug classes are limited in both reach and applicability, with more than 80% of known human protein disease targets considered “unsuitable” because they are beyond the reach of both antibodies and small molecules.

Helicon’s FogPharma peptide drug discovery engine combines directed evolution, proprietary α-helix conformational hyperstabilization chemistry, highly multiplexed drug optimization technology, artificial intelligence including deep learning and machine learning, structure-based drug discovery, genomics and cancer biology, and multi-scale manufacturing for rapid detection Polypeptide therapeutic drugs Helicon.

This new therapeutic approach combines the targeting power and specificity of antibodies with broad tissue distribution, intracellular targeting and the possibility of oral dosing of small molecules to overcome the limitations of today’s precision medicine and achieve the most challenging goals of achieving universal drug availability.

About FOG-001

FogPharma’s Helicon’s lead polypeptide development candidate, FOG-001, is the first and only inhibitor in its class to directly block TCF β-catenin. Dysregulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway has been shown to occur in at least 20% of all human cancers. In the US alone, FOG-001 could be a new treatment option for more than 1 million patients suffering from a wide range of intractable cancers.

In biochemical and cellular studies, FOG-001 has been shown to potently, precisely and selectively disrupt the interaction of β-catenin with its binding transcription factor TCF. Preclinical studies have demonstrated the ability of FOG-001 to induce tumor growth inhibition and regression by disrupting β-catenin-dependent signaling.

FOG-001 is the first member of FogPharma’s TCF-Catenix family of direct-acting β-catenin antagonists and shares key characteristics that differentiate it from previously reported Wnt/β-catenin pathway modulators: FOG-001 acts intracellularly, where it directly binds the key oncogenic driver β-catenin; and FOG-001 blocks the TCF-β-catenin interaction at the lowest node of the canonical Wnt pathway, thereby abrogating the signaling mechanism by which most, if not all, known Wnt pathway mutations are thought to drive oncogenesis.

FogPharma plans to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for FOG-001 to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and begin clinical development by mid-2023. FogPharma raises $178 million to fight cancer

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