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2024-07-11| Funding

$115M Series A Boosts Myricx Bio’s ADC Development with Lilly and Novo Support

by Bernice Lottering
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Myricx Bio has secured £90 million ($115.5 million) in Series A funding to expand its antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform and advance its pipeline to clinical trials. (Image: Pixabay)

Myricx Bio has raised £90 million ($115.5 million) in a Series A funding round. This investment will expand its antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platform and advance its pipeline to clinical trials.  The Series A round was co-led by Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, alongside Abingworth, a life science investment firm. New investors Eli Lilly, Cancer Research Horizons, and British Patient Capital, a subsidiary of the U.K. government’s economic development bank, also participated, alongside founding investors Sofinnova Partners and Brandon Capital. 

Myricx Bio Targets NMT Enzyme to Disrupt Cancer Cell Survival with ADC Platform

Myricx Bio plans to use the new funds to enhance its N-Myristoyltransferase inhibitor (NMTi) antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) payload platform, advancing it through the proof-of-concept stage. This involves demonstrating the feasibility and potential effectiveness of these drug candidates.

N-Myristoyltransferase (NMT) is an enzyme that adds a lipid modification to certain protein targets. These modifications are essential for cancer cell survival. By inhibiting NMT, Myricx Bio’s ADCs aim to disrupt these critical processes, potentially leading to new cancer treatments.

“Myricx now has the resources to grow into a fully-fledged R&D company with our own laboratories, and an in-house R&D team with expanded management capabilities,” stated CEO, Robin Carr. ”We are well positioned to build on our NMTi ADC platform and advance our pipeline as we become a clinical-stage company.”.

Dual-Action NMTi-ADCs Targeting B7-H3 and HER2

Strong preclinical results show that the company’s NMTi ADCs are effective and safe across various solid tumors and cancer-related antigens. These ADCs have successfully led to complete and lasting shrinkage of tumors in multiple models of solid cancers, demonstrating significant potential impact. Based on this data, the company is focusing on developing two specific NMTi-ADCs targeting the cancer-associated antigens B7-H3 and HER2

The research findings, published in Nature Cell Biology highlight N-myristoyltransferase (NMT) as a key targetable pathway in cellular senescence. Myricx’s proprietary NMTis have shown a potent senolytic effect, selectively eliminating non-dividing, senescent cells. Here, 

Myricx’s NMTi payloads for ADCs stand out due to their dual mechanism of action, combining senolytic and cytotoxic effects. This dual action could lead to deeper and more durable tumor responses. Myricx has secured exclusive intellectual property rights from Imperial College Innovations Limited and UKRI to develop NMTis for senescence applications. The company focuses on developing effective cancer treatments, though specific cancer types targeted remain undisclosed.

Michael Bauer from Novo Holdings emphasized the promising scientific basis of Myricx Bio’s novel payload chemistry for NMTi-ADCs. This approach is believed to possibly expand the applications of ADCs beyond current standard treatments. “The scientific rationale behind its novel payload chemistry gives us confidence that NMTi-ADCs have the potential to greatly expand the current repertoire of ADC applications beyond the current standard-of-care payload classes, creating opportunities for new treatment options for patients.”

ADC Innovations Spark Industry Surge: Major Acquisitions and Record Series A Funding Propel Cancer Therapy Advancements

Companies such as Merck, Ipsen, and Johnson & Johnson have shown keen interest in ADCs, evidenced by their recent acquisitions of several biotech firms in this space. This reflects a strategic focus on expanding their capabilities in cancer treatment through innovative ADC platforms.

Additionally, significant Series A funding rounds have been secured within the ADC field. Firefly Bio, for instance, launched with a $94 million investment to advance a novel platform merging ADCs with protein degraders for enhanced cancer cell targeting. Similarly, OnCusp Therapeutics debuted earlier this year with a $100 million Series A round to support development of their ADC candidate. These investments highlight growing confidence in ADC technologies to potentially transform oncology treatments.

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