Game, set, Matchpoint: Sanofi-backed biotech launches with $70M series A to ace covalent molecule wins

Matchpoint Therapeutics has been served $70 million in series A funds to fund its covalent molecule ambitions, prioritizing platform development and early discovery work. 

After raising $30 million in seed money almost a year ago, the company is now looking to accrue preclinical momentum armed with the latest financing, which includes investment from Sanofi’s venture arm. Although the biotech's pipeline has not been unveiled, Matchpoint’s initial focus will be in immunology, with the company noting in a release Friday that it will only pursue targets for which covalent chemistry is “the only or best modality” for intervention. 

At the company’s core is its Advanced Covalent Exploration (ACE) platform, designed to blend together machine learning with a library of covalent compounds, as well as chemoproteomics that can identify covalent binders. The company is emphasizing covalent bonds in an attempt to produce a more durable attachment to a target, increasing potency and limiting systemic exposure. 

“Much of the proteome that could be targeted by covalent drugs has to date remained invisible to standard chemoproteomics methods,” co-founder Edward Chouchani, Ph.D., an associate professor of cell biology at Harvard and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said in the release. 

In addition to Sanofi's VC arm, Matchpoint’s series A was supported by Vertex Ventures HC, Digitalis Ventures and Alexandria Venture Investments, among others. Jason Hafler, Ph.D., managing director of Sanofi Ventures, will be joining the company’s board.

“We are delighted to welcome Sanofi Ventures and our additional new investors to this pursuit as we continue to build Matchpoint into the leader in covalent medicines,” said Bruce Booth, chairman of Matchpoint’s board. 

It’s at least the third financing contribution from Sanofi’s VC wing since April, with the firm also doling out cash in series B rounds for OMass Therapeutics and ReCode. Prior investments included bluebird bio, Rome Therapeutics and Yumanity Therapeutics.