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Atavistik Bio Announces $60 Million Series A Financing to Advance Genetically-Validated Targets in Metabolic Diseases and Cancer

·6 min read

The Column Group led funding, joined by Lux Capital, and Nextech Invest, Ltd.

Financing to advance Atavistik’s drug discovery platform

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., August 24, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Atavistik Bio ("Atavistik", "Company"), a pre-clinical biotechnology company pioneering the identification of metabolite-protein interactions that have the potential to lead to the discovery and development of first-in-class drug candidates powered by distinct allosteric control mechanisms, announced today that the Company had completed a $60 million Series A financing round. The financing was led by The Column Group and joined by Lux Capital, and Nextech Invest, Ltd.

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John A. Josey, PhD, Acting CEO of Atavistik Bio, and Marion Dorsch, PhD, President and CSO. (Photo: Business Wire)

The new financing will support development of Atavastik’s drug discovery platform, and future identification of select drug candidates based on deep knowledge of disease relevant pathways that have evolved over millions of years by nature to be allosterically regulated by metabolites.

The Company will be helmed by John A. Josey, PhD, Acting CEO of Atavistik Bio, who was formerly CEO at Peloton Therapeutics, which was acquired by Merck in 2019. Dr. Josey is an experienced CEO with a long track record of novel drug discovery. Marion Dorsch, PhD, has been appointed President and CSO. Dr. Dorsch is a highly accomplished scientist and senior executive with more than twenty years of biotech and pharma experience in oncology, inflammation and rare genetic diseases. She is known for her innovative drug discovery that has contributed to several accelerated drug approvals in oncology. Prior to this role, Dr. Dorsch was CSO at Blueprint Medicines.

"Our unique approach marries a validated platform with structure-aided drug design capabilities and cutting-edge insights into the regulation of metabolic systems, which will be applied to genetically validated targets in metabolic disease and cancer," said John A. Josey, PhD, CEO of Atavistik Bio and Venture Partner at The Column Group. "We are delighted to gain the support of such an esteemed collection of venture investors in our quest to find first-in-class drug compounds in metabolic diseases and cancer."

Atavistik was co-founded by prominent scientific investigators and members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Atavistik’s platform is built on technology developed by co-founder Jared Rutter, PhD, Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Utah. Professor Rutter is well-known for his work regarding novel protein metabolite interactions that has resulted in identification of novel allosteric regulatory sites for proteins of interest in disease. Additionally, co-founder Dr. Ralph DeBerardinis, MD, PhD is a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He is a leading medical geneticist with a deep understanding of human metabolism with a focus on pediatrics. Dr. DeBerardinis still attends to patients and has a unique understanding of the high unmet need in this critical area of human health. The co-founders will stay closely involved with the scientific direction at Atavistik as advisors.

"Atavistik has a differentiated platform that has tremendous potential to identify novel regulatory sites to tackle the underlying cause of many diseases," said Marion Dorsch, PhD, President and Chief Scientific Officer, Atavistik Bio. "Our technology was founded by a leading metabolism expert and validated by the discovery of numerous known and novel metabolite-protein interactions. We look forward to building on this technology and utilizing our drug discovery platform to identify first-in-class drug candidates."

"Atavistik has positioned itself at the forefront of allosteric regulated metabolic drug discovery, a novel and exciting new area of drug discovery and medicine, that has immense potential," said Tim Kutzkey, Managing Partner at The Column Group and Atavistik Bio board member. "The company is built around Marion’s drug-discovery expertise and successful track record of bringing experimental medicines to market quickly. She will be joined by a team of experts in metabolism and a robust investment syndicate that will support Atavistik’s scientific focus."

Atavistik has opened a new office in Cambridge at 38 Sidney St. To learn more, please visit AtavistikBio.com.

About Atavistik Bio

Atavistik Bio (Atavistik) is a pre-clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the identification of allosteric small molecule-protein interactions that have the potential to lead to the discovery and future clinical development of first-in-class drug compounds within oncology and metabolic diseases. Atavistik was founded by prominent scientists who are considered among the leading authorities in cell biology, cancer cell biology and cell metabolism. Led by an experienced management team and advisors, plus a robust investment syndicate, Atavistik is positioned to deliver transformational science to ultimately improve patient care. Learn more at AtavistikBio.com.

About The Column Group

The Column Group (TCG) is a leading venture capital firm based in San Francisco that seeks to partner with exceptional scientific founders, entrepreneurs, executives, and investment organizations with a shared vision for building the next generation of drug discovery and development companies. TCG invests in disease-focused drug discovery companies with the potential to become leaders in their respective fields. These companies are strongly supported by the unique and complimentary skill sets of TCG’s team, which includes prominent authorities in the scientific, operational, and financial arenas. For more information, please visit https://www.thecolumngroup.com/

About Lux Capital

Lux Capital invests in emerging science and technology ventures at the outermost edges of what is possible. They partner with iconoclastic inventors challenging the status quo and the laws of nature to bring their futuristic ideas to life. Over the past two decades, Lux has expanded from its New York City roots to Silicon Valley, and built a $4 billion AUM firm of more than 30 full-time professionals, with the versatility to invest at any stage.

About Nextech Invest, Ltd.

The global oncology specialist venture capital firm Nextech Invest Ltd., established in 1998 in Zurich, Switzerland, focuses on investing in cancer companies. Supported by a Scientific Advisory Board of seven oncologists chaired by Prof. Dr. David Livingston, Deputy Director Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Nextech Invest is investing in emerging companies with pioneering innovations in cancer research that have compounds entering clinical trials. The other members of the Scientific Advisory Board are: Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Altmann, Prof. Dr. Glenn Dranoff, Prof. Dr. William Kaelin, Prof. Dr. Sir Bruce Ponder, Dr. Charles Sawyers and Prof. Dr. Paul Workman. Nextech Invest is a longstanding member of leading networks in private equity, such as EVCA, SECA and EVPA. Nextech Invest works closely with the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

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