Anacor veterans raise $80M in bid to tackle rare lung disease with boron-based inhibitors
After starting up with a $12 million Series A in 2019, California outfit AN2 Therapeutics issued its first press release in over 2 years — and its second ever: The ultra-quiet biotech has raised an $80 million Series B and added a pair of directors to boot.
The biotech is headed by several leaders from Anacor, which was bought out by Pfizer in 2016 for about $5.2 billion. Eric Easom, former head of Anacor’s R&D on neglected diseases, is co-founder and CEO. Other Anacor vets include AN2’s chief development officer, CFO and head of biology.
Although only announced now, AN2 completed the Series B back in March. The financing, led by RA Capital Management — signaling a potential IPO down the road — will help AN2 advance its lead candidate epetraborole, a once-daily, oral investigational treatment for chronic, non-tuberculous mycobacterial lung disease (NTM).
NTM, a group of rare lung diseases, primarily affects people with pre-exisiting conditions such as cystic fibrosis and CPOD. There are few good treatment options.
What the advance would look like, according to AN2, is moving late-stage clinical trials forward and progressing the company’s broader pipeline of boron-based molecules.
Boron-based inhibitors, according to the biotech, can be highly selective — and open the door to new targets. There was some pioneering work done at Anacor on boron compounds known as fused boron heterocyclic compounds.
AN2 also brought on Patricia Martin and Stephanie Wong as members of its board of directors. Martin — who spent more than two decades at Eli Lilly as the former COO of Lilly Diabetes and Eli Lilly’s chief diversity officer and chief alliance officer before leaving in 2018 — has worked in strategy, finance, clinical product development, human resources, and investor relations. Wong worked on the finance side of biotech — spending time at Kosan Biosciences, AcelRx, and SciClone before her current job as CFO at Calithera Biosciences.