NEW YORK – Artios Pharma on Tuesday said it has raised $153 million in a Series C financing round that it will use to advance its pipeline of DNA damage response drugs.
The latest financing was co-led by Omega Funds and TCG X. New investors Avidity Partners, Invus, Deep Track Capital, Sofinnova Partners, Tetragon Financial Group, RTW Investments LP, Soleus Capital, Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital, CaaS Capital Management, and Schroders Capital also participated in the round. Existing investors Arix Bioscience, SV Health Investors, Andera Partners, LSP, M Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, IP Group, and Novartis Venture Fund also contributed funds.
As part of the financing, Michelle Doig, partner and head of corporate development at Omega Funds, and Chen Yu, founding managing partner at TCG X, will join Artios' board of directors.
The latest funding round is occurring as Artios' lead Polθ inhibitor ART4215 is about to enter human studies in the second half of the year. The company is planning to study the drug's activity both as a single agent and in combination with other drugs. Artios is also conducting a Phase I trial of the ATR inhibitor ART0380 in tumors with faulty DNA damage repair mechanisms. The company will apply the raised money to advance these two agents and its broader pipeline of drugs that exploit cancer cells' inability to repair DNA damage.
UK-based Artios, which raised $84 million in a Series B funding round in 2018, has raised a total of $320 million to date.
Last year, Artios announced a three-year research pact with Darmstadt, Germany-based Merck KGaA to discover and develop precision oncology drugs that inhibit DNA damage repair mechanisms. In the deal, Merck garnered exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize up to eight targets that the companies jointly discover; Artios' Polθ and ATR inhibitors aren't part of this deal.
Earlier this year, the company also inked a deal with Novartis to identify DNA damage repair targets that Novartis can use with its proprietary radioligand therapies.