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Prometheus Bags $130 Million to Develop Precision Medicines for IBD Treatment
On November 9th, San Diego-based Prometheus Biosciences, Inc. announced the completion of a $130 million equity financing round led by Eventide Asset Management and RTW Investments, LP. In connection with the financing, Joy Ghosh, Ph.D. of Eventide Asset Management, and Adam Stone of Perceptive Advisors will be joining the Prometheus Board of Directors.
Prometheus pioneers a precision medicine approach for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) diagnosis and treatment with its precision medicine platform, Prometheus 360™. The platform combines proprietary bioinformatics discovery methods with one of the world’s largest gastrointestinal bioinformatics databases to identify novel therapeutic targets and develop therapeutic candidates to engage those targets.
“We are pleased to have the support of such outstanding investors who share our dedication and vision to build the world’s leading precision medicine company for IBD,” said Mark McKenna, President, and CEO of Prometheus. “We are now well-positioned to advance the clinical development of our lead antibody program targeting TL1A-associated IBD and grow our emerging pipeline of precision medicine programs designed to deliver life-changing outcomes for patients.”
Prometheus’ Partnerships Focusing on the IBD Market
Prometheus has entered several collaborations to develop targeted therapies for IBD. In August, it formed a partnership with Dr. Falk Pharma GmbH to develop and commercialize PR600, a cell signaling program that targets the receptor of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily for treating IBD. PR600 was discovered through Prometheus’ proprietary precision medicines platform, Prometheus 360™, and is currently in preclinical development.
In 2019, Takeda paid an undisclosed amount upfront and up to $420 million in milestones to form a pact with Prometheus. By combining the proprietary bioinformatics discovery platform and companion diagnostic tools developed by Prometheus with Takeda’s expertise in gastroenterology and drug development, the collaboration intended to discover and advance up to three targeted IBD therapeutics and companion diagnostics. Takeda will be responsible for the drug discovery, clinical development, and commercialization activities of the resulting targeted therapeutics.
Prometheus has a major opportunity to grow because of its relationships with larger companies, and CEO Mark McKenna promises that his company will have 3-4 IBD drugs. Before joining Prometheus, CEO McKenna had performed admirably for 4-years at Bausch subsidiary Salix Pharmaceuticals bringing a reversal of fortunes for the company with increased sales of its IBD drug, Xifaxan. With that same skillset and the influx in funding, Prometheus has the opportunity to accelerate the clinical development of PRA023, a potentially best in class TL1A antibody for IBD, and expansion of Prometheus’ 360 platform.
By Eduardo Longoria
Editor: Rajaneesh K. Gopinath, Ph.D.
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