NEA's Mott, Kleiner Perkins pump $20M into cancer drug upstart

David Mott, general partner--Courtesy of NEA

David Mott at New Enterprise Associates has put together a $20 million round to back 3-V Biosciences, an upstart biotech with deep roots in Switzerland's scientific community and an office in Silicon Valley.  

3-V, with its original lab in Zurich, close to the company's scientific founders at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University of Zürich, rounded up $30 million for its Series B in 2009. Initially focused closely on infectious diseases, the biotech has added oncology work and is prepping a Phase I study for its lead cancer drug.

Mott, the former CEO of MedImmune, turned globetrotting venture capital player, stepped in three years ago as company chairman. NEA and Kleiner Perkins--two VCs active in the biotech sector--have provided much of the startup capital. 

"3-V takes an integrated approach to building its pipeline by applying our proprietary screening methodology combined with our expertise in medicinal chemistry, drug discovery and development to generate proprietary therapeutic candidates that target key pathways in oncology and infectious diseases," says CEO Merdad Parse in a statement. "Our lead oncology candidate has demonstrated compelling anti-tumor activity in pre-IND studies and with the funds from our Series C, we look forward to advancing into the clinic later this year."

Menlo Park, CA-based 3-V says the lead molecule is one of several novel fatty acid synthase (FASN) inhibitors being developed to treat solid tumor cancers. "FASN over-expression is associated with aggressive disease and poor prognosis in a number of cancers," says the company. "In a series of preclinical studies, 3-V has demonstrated potent activity against multiple tumor types, including lung, breast, prostate and colon cancers. In addition, 3-V has demonstrated potential synergy of its FASN-inhibitors with cytotoxic agents."

Last fall 3-V said that it had gathered positive preclinical information on an FASN inhibitor for hepatitis C. 

An IND will be filed at the FDA in Q3 with a first-in-human cancer study to launch before the end of this year.

- here's the press release

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