NEW YORK – Redwood City, California-based precision medicine company Biomea Fusion on Wednesday announced that it has raised $56 million in a Series A funding round led by Cormorant Asset Management that it will use to advance its investigational menin/MLL inhibiting agent.
The agent, which is currently in preclinical IND-enabling studies but is expected to enter the clinic in the second half of 2021, is an irreversible inhibitor of the protein-to-protein interaction between menin and the MLL complex. According to Biomea, menin is an ideal drug target due to the role it plays in regulating cellular pathways, including those responsible for DNA damage repair and apoptosis.
According to Biomea, menin and MLL are highly expressed in blood cancers including acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphocytic leukemia, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, Ewing's sarcoma, and others, and are also critically involved in solid tumors, including breast, liver, pancreas, and colon cancers. The firm is therefore developing its menin/MLL inhibitor as a treatment for solid tumors and hematologic malignancies alike.
"We are extremely humbled by this support to advance our very exciting menin program into the clinic and produce first-in-human data in patients with liquid and solid tumors, as well as expand our irreversible drug development program," Thomas Butler, Biomea's CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. "With this financing, we are one step closer to bringing innovative targeted therapies to cancer patients worldwide."
In addition to advancing its menin/MLL inhibiting agent into first-in-human trials this year, the company also plans to put its financing toward two other irreversible inhibitor therapeutic programs that are in preclinical development and to bring more researchers on board.