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2021-11-12| Funding

Acrivon Therapeutics to Advance Proteomics Platform & Oncology Pipeline with $100M Series B Financing

by Judy Ya-Hsuan Lin
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Many pharmaceutical companies have been enhancing their oncology profile in recent years. On November 11th,  Massachusetts-based Acrivon Therapeutics closed an oversubscribed $100 million in Series B financing.

The financing was coordinated by Wellington Management Company and Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), with other investors including HealthCor Management, RA Capital Management, and Perceptive Advisors, Alexandria Venture Investments, BB Pureos Bioventures, Sands Capital, Acorn Bioventures, Chione Ltd., and HBM Healthcare Investments. Derek DiRocco, a partner at RA Capital Management, will be appointed as the company’s Board of Directors.

“We are thrilled by the support from these notable investors,” said Kristina Masson, Ph.D., co-founder and site head of Acrivon AB, Acrivon’s phospho-proteomic and drug discovery hub located in Medicon Village, Lund, Sweden.

“We have strategically built our phospho-proteomics capabilities here to leverage the proximity to our academic co-founder, professor Jesper Olsen at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, who is a recognized leader in the field of phospho-proteomics. Likewise, our structure-guided drug discovery programs benefit from local expertise in structural biology and medicinal chemistry. The excellent infrastructure and world-leading proteomics expertise established at our hub in Scandinavia remain a major competitive advantage for Acrivon, and we are excited to also welcome several European investors to join our investor syndicate.”

Related Article: Artificial Intelligence Solves A Fifty Year Old Protein Folding Problem

 

Acrivon Predictive Precision Proteomics (AP3)

Acrivon’s proprietary Predictive Precision Proteomics (AP3) technology platform is used for the development of drug-tailored OncoSignature companion diagnostics or selection of tumor biopsy tests. The platform is to link drug mechanisms to the active disease-driving processes of cancer in patients, uncovering drug sensitivity not achievable through traditional genomics analyses.

In addition, Acrivon fortifies its oncology pipeline by licensing a lead product candidate ACR-368 or prexasertib, which is a CHK1/2 inhibitor demonstrating anticancer activity. ACR-368 showed complete responses across multiple cancers in Phase 2 studies of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and in squamous cell cancers, including anal cancer.

“On the heels of the company’s recent public launch in late June, we are pleased to have attracted a top-tier syndicate of leading private/public investors that recognize the transformative potential of our platform and pipeline,” said Peter Blume-Jensen, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer and founder of Acrivon.

“Appropriate patient selection is one of the biggest unmet needs for targeted oncology therapeutics and is currently not possible for the majority of common solid cancers. We are excited to now leverage the broader potential of our AP3 platform, which enables us to decipher a drug’s true mechanism of action at high resolution and accurately match that with the disease-driving processes in a patient’s tumor. This allows us to not only predict individual patient response but also identify new indications and rational drug combinations, as well as hurdles that block patient responses, such as resistance mechanisms. The initial application of our technology is for the development of ACR-368 and two other undisclosed pipeline programs targeting solid tumors.” 

Derek DiRocco, Ph.D., partner at RA Capital and member of the board, added, “Acrivon’s lead asset ACR-368 has demonstrated impressive monotherapy activity in several cancers, and the late-stage Phase 2 development strategy using their proprietary patient selection methodology can lead to multiple accelerated approval opportunities in these high unmet need cancers. We are impressed by the company’s foundational technologies and believe they are broadly applicable to therapeutics beyond ACR-368 and have the potential to usher in a new era of precision-based medicine beyond the industry’s current approaches, which are largely limited to the use of genomic biomarkers.”

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