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Civetta Therapeutics Announces $53 million Series A to Advance Lead Programs and Develop Proprietary Platform Targeting Propeller Proteins


Civetta Therapeutics is a Deerfield founded and funded company

Civetta Therapeutics, LLC announced a $53 million Series A financing to advance select programs and a proprietary platform focused on beta-propeller proteins. Deerfield Management established the new Company in early 2019 with Civetta scientific founders William Sellers, MD, and Eric Fischer, PhD. Bruce Goldsmith, PhD serves as the interim CEO. Dr. Goldsmith, who is Venture Partner at Deerfield, has recruited industry innovators in biology, chemistry, and lead discovery in an effort to advance the Company’s research initiatives.

Beta-propeller proteins are structural scaffolds that mediate important protein-protein interactions. These propeller proteins are found ubiquitously across cell types and have diverse functions in the pathogenesis of serious disease such as cancer, neurodegeneration and metabolic disorders. Civetta will take a comprehensive approach to identify critical propeller protein targets underlying disease and advance therapeutics by creating selective inhibitors or activators.

“Civetta’s vision is to develop a broad range of expertise in drugging the propeller domains, spanning from biochemistry to biology to medicinal chemistry. These efforts could lead to both the creation of nearer-term therapeutics and longer-term value in becoming a leader in this space,” said Dr. Fischer.

“While the initial focus will be in oncology, other disease areas will be targeted as well. Similar to the synergies that have benefited kinase drug discovery, it is envisioned that the insights gained through our platform could potentially be leveraged to apply more broadly to many propeller targets,” said Dr. Sellers.

Utilizing Deerfield seed funding and operational support since the first quarter of 2019, Civetta has established its initial operations at Ipsen Innovation Center BioLabs. The Series A funding will position Civetta to further validate its platform, advance lead programs, secure permanent facilities, and expand the research team. As part of Civetta’s formation, the Company has gained scientific insights from the Broad Institute through a know-how license as well as from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“We are excited to announce the funding and advancement of Civetta, which has created a platform to explore diverse and structurally unique proteins and the role these play in serious diseases. The team we have recruited has an outstanding track record and we look forward to developing transformative therapeutics,” said Cameron Wheeler, PhD, Director at Civetta and Partner at Deerfield Management.

“Civetta’s research teams are truly thrilled to be on the cutting edge of exploration of propeller proteins in order to identify novel therapeutics,” said Bruce Goldsmith. “We believe that the Company is well positioned to potentially identify new therapeutics that could transform patients’ lives.”

About Civetta

Civetta is a Cambridge, MA based cancer therapeutics company, founded to advance new medicines through small molecule targeting of beta-propeller domains with the goal of developing important therapeutics for cancers and other diseases. For more information, please visit www.civettatherapeutics.com.

About the Founders

William Sellers, MD, is a Core Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a Professor of Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and senior advisor to the president for experimental therapeutics at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Eric Fischer, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and an Independent Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

About Deerfield

Deerfield is an investment management firm committed to improving healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy. For more information, please visit www.deerfield.com.

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