Flare Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company targeting transcription factors to discover precision medicines for cancer and other diseases, has announced a $123 million Series B financing.
The financing was co-led by GordonMD Global Investments LP and Pfizer Ventures, with participation from existing investors Boxer Capital, Casdin Capital, Eventide Asset Management, Invus Financial Advisors, Nextech Invest and Third Rock Ventures as well as new investors Agent Capital, Eli Lilly and Company, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), Novartis, Pavilion Capital and ShangBay Capital.
“Our investor support is testament to the rapid progress our team has made since launch in advancing the only company focused on rationally designing transcription factor targeting therapies,” said Amit Rakhit, president and chief executive officer of Flare Therapeutics.
“This will be a pivotal year for Flare as we progress our first precision oncology program, FX-909, into the clinic, continue to expand our collection of druggable transcription factor targets, and build a pipeline of potentially first-in-class therapies against genetically validated transcription factor targets for cancer.”
Flare Therapeutics’ pipeline
Proceeds from the financing will support a planned clinical trial in 2023 for FX-909, a small molecule inhibitor targeting the PPARG transcription factor, in patients with advanced urothelial cancer. It will also support the advancement of a pipeline of novel transcription factor targets in oncology, including nomination of at least one additional development candidate from the company’s research pipeline in 2024.
“Transcription factors have long been viewed as prime therapeutic targets playing a key role in a broad range of diseases, particularly cancers, where they represent one-third of all oncogenes. While targeting transcription factors has the potential for incredible impact, their complex structure makes them notoriously difficult to drug, requiring a new approach and new thinking,” said Rob Sims, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Flare Therapeutics.
The Flare drug discovery platform drives the systematic identification of switch sites, or druggable pockets within transcription factor complexes that dictate conformation and function.
This is achieved through a broad and comprehensive approach that layers chemoproteomics, functional biochemistry, covalent chemistry and genetic insights to gain a deeper understanding of the structural underpinnings driving transcription factor function, and a proprietary library of compounds designed to modulate transcription factor behavior.