South San Francisco-based biotech firm True North Therapeutics has closed $22 million in Series A funding. The investors included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, MPM Capital, SR One, Biogen Idec New Ventures and Baxter Ventures.
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–True North Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing novel therapies that selectively inhibit the Complement system to treat rare diseases, announced today that it has completed a $22 million Series A equity financing. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance True North’s lead drug candidate, TNT009, into clinical development, with the initiation of the first human clinical trial planned for early 2015. The total Series A round encompasses initial funds from the spin-out of True North Therapeutics from iPierian, Inc., announced in September 2013. Investors in the Series A financing include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, MPM Capital, SR One, Biogen Idec New Ventures, and Baxter Ventures.
The Series A financing will provide True North with funding to complete Phase 1a and Phase 1b studies with TNT009, including evaluation of patients in a variety of autoantibody-driven rare diseases mediated by the Complement system. The company has completed preclinical studies showing ex vivo efficacy of TNT009, a first-in-class monoclonal antibody that selectively inhibits a target of the Classical Complement pathway.
“True North is on the cutting-edge in the field of therapeutics to target the Complement system,” said Geeta Vemuri, PhD of Baxter Ventures. “TNT009 is a promising new approach that offers a truly significant advance for rare diseases that have no approved therapies today.”
With TNT009, True North is focused on Complement-mediated rare diseases in the hematologic, renal and neurological therapeutic areas. TNT009 inhibits C1s, a member of the Complement family of plasma proteins, which, upon activation, triggers a powerful enzymatic cascade that destroys and removes pathogens from the circulation. Aberrant activation of the Complement system has been described in numerous autoimmune settings in which antibodies that attack self, known as autoantibodies, play a role in disease pathogenesis.
“This financing provides us with a strong financial foundation and firmly validates our investors’ enthusiasm for the promise of TNT009 and the value of implementing a robust clinical program for multiple rare diseases,” said Nancy Stagliano, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of True North. “We have a tremendous opportunity to develop a first-in-class treatment for Complement-mediated diseases, and we aim to make a significant impact on patient care with our innovative therapeutic approach.”
TNT009 is a first-in-class molecule developed to selectively inhibit C1s, a serine protease specific to the Classical Complement pathway of the immune system. TNT009 selectively inhibits the Classical Complement pathway, thereby preventing downstream disease processes involving phagocytosis, inflammation, and cell lysis. With a unique mechanism of action and high target specificity, TNT009 selectively inhibits disease processes in the Classical Complement pathway cascade while maintaining the important immune surveillance provided by the Alternative Complement Pathway and Lectin Complement Pathway.
About True North Therapeutics
True North Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing novel therapies that selectively target the Complement pathway of the immune system to address fundamental mechanisms in diseases with high unmet need, including rare diseases. The company’s lead monoclonal antibody drug candidate, TNT009, offers a novel approach for treating Complement-mediated diseases by selectively inhibiting a target in the Classical Complement pathway. True North’s drug development programs are focused on Complement-mediated rare diseases in the hematologic, kidney transplant, dermatology and neurological therapeutic areas. True North Therapeutics is located in South San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit www.truenorthrx.com.