Disc Medicine nabs $90M for blood disease pipeline, new Roche asset

Disc Medicine has raised $90 million in a series B round as it looks to push on with its pipeline of early- to midstage blood disorder assets.

The latest cash drop will be used toward its lead phase 2 program bitopertin, an oral GlyT1 inhibitor it hopes can become the first disease-modifying treatment for erythropoietic porphyrias, a family of rare and debilitating genetic disorders caused by dysregulated heme synthesis.

Disc recently licensed the drug from Roche, which had been testing the drug predominately in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, but results were poor.

The drug did, however, appear to have “marked effects on heme synthesis,” according to Disc, seeing it reborn under the biotech, which has a $200 million biobucks pact with the Swiss pharma for the med.

It will also be put to use against another phase 2, this time for DISC-0974, an anti-hemojuvelin monoclonal antibody designed to suppress hepcidin and treat myelofibrosis patients with transfusion-dependent anemia.

The latest funding round was led by OrbiMed with help from new investors Arix Bioscience, Janus Henderson Investors, 5AM Ventures, Rock Springs Capital, Nantahala Capital Management, Willett Advisors and Alexandria Venture Investments. Existing investors also participated in the financing, including Atlas Venture, Novo Holdings and Access Biotechnology. This adds to the $50 million series A the company pulled in back in 2019.

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“This financing will accelerate the next stage of our journey as we enter clinical studies in patients next year,” said John Quisel, Ph.D., CEO at Disc Medicine.