TORONTO, ON- Fusion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Fusion) reports it has closed a US$25M Series A financing, with Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC) as the lead investor.
The other investors taking part in the Series A round include venture groups HealthCap, TPG Biotechnology Partners, and Genesys Capital, as well as founding investor Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT). The financing is strengthened by HealthCap’s specialized expertise, having pioneered a new wave of successful radiotherapeutic companies.
Fusion Pharmaceuticals says it will use the proceeds to advance its lead program, FPX-01, into human clinical trials. FPX-01 is an antibody-targeted radiotherapy that seeks out a specific biomarker present on nearly all types of treatment-resistant cancers.
According to the company, its technology, targeted alpha-particle emitting radiotherapeutics, combine the precision of molecular targeting agents such as antibodies with the potency of alpha-particle emitting radioisotopes to specifically attack and eradicate cancer cells. Alpha-particle emitting medical isotopes attack cancer cells using multiple mechanisms, including causing the type of DNA damage that the cancer cell cannot easily repair, reducing the likelihood of developing drug resistance. At the same time, alpha particle-emitting agents offer improved safe-handling features and can be administered in conventional cancer treatment facilities unlike previous generations of radiotherapeutics.
In addition, Fusion is building its pipeline through access to a centyrin protein targeting platform in two licensing agreements with Janssen Biotech in transactions facilitated by J&J Innovation.
Fushion Pharmaceuticals is a spinout from the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC), which is a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research Centre (CECR) located at McMaster University. The CPDC has facilities and major partnerships in Hamilton, Boston, Toronto and Ottawa.
The company also received OICR funding support from its inception. As OICR’s commercialization partner, FACIT provided corporate leadership (through its Executive-in-Residence program) as well as seed funding to launch Fusion and to attract the strategic partners, investors and the larger capital infusion necessary to grow the company, and continue its research around radiotherapeutics.
The company is led by Dr. John Valliant, who is the founder of both Fusion and CPDC. He was selected as one of the Canada’s top 40 under 40 in 2010.