Investors pour $90M onto ARTBIO's palette less than 6 months after launching

ARTBIO launched less than six months ago with $23 million in seed funds, but in today’s dicey financing environment, there’s no better time than the present to corral new funding.

The radiopharmaceutical biotech closed a $90 million series A round, according to an announcement Thursday, enough to continue building out the platform, solidify the manufacturing network and enter the clinic with a lead asset. The financing was led by Third Rock Ventures and “an undisclosed healthcare fund,” with existing investors F-Prime and Omega Funds contributing as well.

The effort to nail down the manufacturing network goes hand-in-hand with ARTBIO’s AlphaDirect technology, which aims to isolate the Pb212 isotope without separation. The biotech touts its process as using a “simple” benchtop format that would be accessible in other facilities where therapies are developed. Supplies for the construction of the radiotherapies is “streamlined” and decentralized, with materials originating from nuclear industry stockpiles.

In addition to the financing, ARTBIO has hired a handful of new executives. Philippe Dasse, Ph.D., previously head of technical operations for radioligand therapies at Novartis, will be the chief technical officer, in charge of integration of AlphaDirect and the manufacturing network, while Daniel Rossett will be senior vice president and head of supply chain and external manufacturing. Rossett was global head of supply chain at Novartis’ radiopharma unit, Advanced Accelerator Applications. 

“Bringing Philippe and Daniel to the ARTBIO team also deepens our manufacturing expertise to ensure efficient manufacturing and seamless delivery of our novel Pb212 alpha radioligand therapies to patients,” said CEO Emanuele Ostuni, Ph.D., in a release. 

All the manufacturing preparation will ultimately be applied to ARTBIO’s pipeline, led by prostate cancer med AB001. That asset is technically already being tested in humans, though it started with a “microdosing run-in part,” according to the clinical trial record. That’ll then ramp up to a normal dose escalation phase seen in most phase 1 studies. 

Behind AB001, the company has two other solid tumor meds that are in lead optimization studies, though the exact targets remain undisclosed.