NEW YORK – Scorpion Therapeutics launched on Monday after raising $108 million in Series A funding.
The financing round was led by Atlas Venture, Omega Funds, and Vida Ventures, and included Abingworth and Partners HealthCare Innovation.
The Boston-based company aims to expand the reach of precision oncology to more patients, especially those who lack therapeutic options or are resistant to existing treatments. Scorpion will focus on developing precision oncology drugs in three areas: therapies against known oncogenes, agents for known but currently undruggable cancer targets, and drugs for new targets.
The experts at the helm of the company will use advanced tools to design treatments for the so-called Precision Oncology 2.0 era in the hopes of ushering in the next wave of personalized treatment options to which patients have more durable responses and fewer side effects than current options.
Scorpion was founded by Gary Glick, who started several biotechs, including Lycera, FirstWave Bio, and IFM Therapeutics. Glick will serve as president and CEO of Scorpion.
Other founders include Keith Flaherty, director of clinical research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and a founder of Loxo Oncology (now part of Eli Lilly); Gaddy Getz, director of the Cancer Genome Computational Analysis Group at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT; and Liron Bar-Peled, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.
"At Scorpion, we have assembled a world-class team to push the limits of biology, bioinformatics, and medicinal chemistry to identify and drug the most promising therapeutic targets for cancer patients," Glick said in a statement. "Our deep capabilities in next-generation chemistry enable us to design precision therapeutics for both new targets and those previously dismissed as undruggable. Moreover, we have assembled leaders in clinical development with the expertise to efficiently advance our product candidates to patients."
Darrin Stuart, previously the executive director of cancer biology and drug discovery at Novartis, where he led the development of encorafenib (Braftovi) in BRAF-mutated melanoma and colorectal cancer, will be Scorpion's CSO. Angel Guzman-Perez comes from Amgen, where he was executive director and head of medicinal chemistry, and will be head of discovery at Scorpion. Erica Jackson, formerly the senior director of oncology discovery at AbbVie, will be executive VP of target biology at Scorpion.