After getting started in 2017 with a $25 million launch round, Fusion Pharmaceuticals has bagged a $105 million mega round to advance their work on new radiopharmaceuticals, a field that has garnered new attention as Novartis builds up its pipeline in the same arena.
Their lead drug, now sitting on the threshold of Phase I, uses an antibody to guide alpha-particle emitting medical isotopes to cancer cells, creating a kind of flash grenade of localized radiation to kill malignant cells. And they’re touting an in-house platform tech for linkers they say will help patients clear their bodies of medical isotopes that aren’t bound to cancer cells.
Varian and OrbiMed are leading the round for the company, with facilities in Canada and Boston. And they’ve been joined by a big syndicate, including new investors Perceptive Advisors, Pivotal bioVenture Partners and Rock Springs Capital. They joined Healthcap, Adams Street Partners, J&J Innovation, TPG Biotech, Seroba Life Sciences, Genesys Capital and FACIT.
“There is significant re-emerging commercial interest in radiopharmaceuticals given recent advances in the field and Fusion is at the forefront,” claimed OrbiMed’s Chau Khuong in a prepared statement.
Novartis has helped spotlight the field with a series of new investments. Late last year, weeks after the pharma giant snapped up Endocyte and its radioisotope drug Lu-PSMA-617 in a $2.1 billion deal — adding it to the Advanced Accelerator Applications group it acquired a little more than a year ago for $3.9 billion — its dealmaking crew added global rights to a new radiopharmaceutical called FF-10158 for oncology indications.
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