Nereus Pharmaceuticals gained $45 million in new backing in what is billed as a "D-2" round. The lead investor in the San Diego-based developer of novel cancer therapies was BankInvest Biomedical Venture of Copenhagen. Six new investors, BankInvest, Roche Venture Fund, Astellas Venture Management, Boston Life Science Venture Corporation, Taiwan Global Biofund and Eminent Venture Capital Corporation, joined the round.
The money will be drawn down in two tranches and used to complete Phase I and begin Phase II clinical trials for Nereus' two drug candidates. The first compound, NPI-2358, is being evaluated for the treatment of solid tumors and lymphomas in Phase I clinical trials. It is a selective tumor vascular disrupting agent, a class of compounds that represents a novel approach to disrupting the intrinsic tumor blood flow, which leads to tumor cell death. NPI-2358 has favorable preclinical characteristics, such as a longer duration of action on tumor blood flow, activity against multi-drug resistant tumor cell lines and a favorable preclinical toxicology profile. The compound is one of 200 analogues that were produced after finding activity and novel chemistry from a marine fungal extract.
- check out the release on the round
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