NEW YORK – Elevation Oncology on Wednesday announced that it had raised $65 million in a Series B financing round, led by new investors VenBio Partners and Cormorant Asset Management.
Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group, Janus Henderson, Samsara Biocapital, Vivo Capital, and existing investors also participated in the latest round, the funds from which Elevation will put toward completing enrollment in the Phase II CRESTONE trial and other corporate development activities.
The CRESTONE trial is exploring the activity of the HER3 monoclonal antibody seribantumab in NRG1 fusion-positive solid tumor patients. NRG1 fusions occur in 0.2 percent of solid tumors, and Elevation is hoping to enroll 76 patients into the trial with a range of tumor types.
Elevation is working with labs Caris Life Sciences, Strata Oncology, and Ashion Analytics to test patients for NRG1 fusions and determine their enrollment eligibility. An earlier partnership with US Oncology Research also allows community-based cancer centers to become a study site for CRESTONE.
In addition to developing seribantumab, Elevation said it is also interested in identifying opportunities for pipeline expansion and prioritizing targeted therapy approaches in tumor types defined by genomic driver alterations.
Simultaneous with the financing announcement, the company said that Shawn Leland, Elevation's founder and former chief business officer, has been promoted to CEO, and will take over the leadership role from Steve Elms, who was serving in an interim capacity. Elms, managing partner of Aisling Capital, will continue to chair the company's board of directors. Richard Gaster from VenBio Partners and Andrew Phillips from Cormorant Asset Management will join its board of directors.
"The progress that Elevation Oncology has made in the short time since its founding to establish a strong scientific rationale and an accelerated development path for seribantumab in patients with tumors harboring an NRG1 gene fusion is quite impressive," Gaster, partner at VenBio, said in a statement. "We see the progress to date as indicative of Elevation Oncology's long-term potential."