$25M Series B helps Blueprint Medicines pursue individualized cancer therapies

Blueprint Medicines has wrapped up a $25 million round of Series B financing to pursue its patient-focused vision of developing tailored, genome-specific cancer treatments.

Oncology investor Nextech Invest led the round with founding venture capital investors Third Rock Ventures and Fidelity Biosciences, as well as public investors Biotech Value Fund, Casdin Capital and other undisclosed investors pitching in for the new influx of funds.

Cambridge, MA-based Blueprint is engineering selective inhibitors of the KIT D816V mutation, which the company touts as the first of their kind. The KIT D816V mutation is a genomic driver of systemic mastocystosis, a group of rare disorders in both children and adults for which there is no cure. A subset of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors also have KIT D816V mutations.

Blueprint's pipeline also includes isoform-selective FGFR4 inhibitors for hepatocellular carcinoma with FGF19 amplification, an identified genomic driver in liver cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of liver cancer. Blueprint is also eyeing FGFR4 in other tumors. The company expects to start enrolling patients in clinical trials for these programs in 2015.

"The Blueprint team is aggressively advancing our pipeline of selective, genomically defined product candidates," said Alexis Borisy, president and interim CEO of Blueprint Medicines, in a statement. "Given our approach of selective compounds to clear genomic drivers, with the resources provided to us through this financing, we will be able to move forward into the clinic and rapidly establish clinical proof-of-concept in well-defined patient populations."

Borisy said Blueprint plans to develop these product candidates as single agents in late-stage and resistant patient populations, and in combinations with other targeted agents in earlier lines of therapy.

Blueprint was named a 2011 Fierce 15 company after it was launched in April that year with a $40 million Series A round of financing.

- read the press release