KKR, Viking Global lead $299M round for BridgeBio

BridgeBio Pharma has bagged a whopping $299.2 million to advance its genetic disease pipeline, which includes more than a dozen assets in preclinical and clinical development. 

Founded in 2015, BridgeBio is working across several therapeutic areas and taking aim at a wide range of indications, including transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR), pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN), Gorlin syndrome and frequent basal cell carcinomas, Netherton syndrome, molybdenum cofactor deficiency Type A, and FGFR, SHP-2, and K-RAS-driven cancers, just to name a few. 

KKR and Viking Global Investors led the round and Sequoia Capital chipped in alongside BridgeBio’s existing backers, Perceptive Advisors, AIG, Aisling Capital, Cormorant Capital and Hercules Capital. The fundraise comes after a busy year for BridgeBio—after raising $135 million in September 2017, the biotech in-licensed or acquired a number of genetic disease treatments and spun out subsidiaries to work on them. 

This “hub-and-spoke” structure puts each drug in its own subsidiary with access to “centralized resources” and a “central research and development platform.” It allows BridgeBio to develop multiple programs simultaneously with the ability to “efficiently redistribute” staff and funding between the different assets as needed, the company said in a statement. 

RELATED: BridgeBio Pharma gains $135M for genetic disease work

The company started 2018 by spinning out QED Therapeutics with $65 million in funding. The unit is working on an FGFR inhibitor licensed from Novartis for the treatment of bile duct cancers and achondroplasia, a form of short-limbed dwarfism. In June, BridgeBio launched a trio of subsidiaries. Origin Biosciences will tackle molybdenum cofactor deficiency type A—an ultrarare, fatal genetic disease that causes seizures in infants—and CoA Therapeutics is developing a treatment for PKAN. They licensed their respective assets from Alexion and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Fortify Therapeutics in-licensed NeuroVive’s NVP015 program for Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, a mitochondrial disease that can cause the optic nerve to atrophy, leading to sudden, severe loss of central vision. 

RELATED: Eidos Therapeutics raises $106M IPO to advance ATTR med 

Origin’s and QED’s programs are in phase 2/3 and phase 2 respectively and are among BridgeBio’s most advanced. Its lead program, a treatment for ATTR polyneuropathy and cardiomyopathy being developed by Eidos Therapeutics, is in phase 3. Eidos pulled off a $106 million IPO in June, which will bankroll its ATTR candidate, AG10, through the clinic.