Firefly Bio CEO Scott Hirsch (L) and Carolyn Bertozzi

Car­olyn Bertozzi and Ver­san­t's new biotech breaks cov­er with $94M to use pro­tein de­graders in AD­Cs

In the bustling world of an­ti­body-drug con­ju­gates, few bio­phar­mas have re­vealed am­bi­tions for com­bin­ing an­ti­bod­ies with pro­tein de­graders, rather than chemo or oth­er cy­to­tox­ic drugs.

Fire­fly Bio was un­veiled Thurs­day with a $94 mil­lion Se­ries A from Ver­sant Ven­tures’ dis­cov­ery unit in Basel, Switzer­land, as well as back­ing from MPM BioIm­pact, Decheng Cap­i­tal and Eli Lil­ly.

AD­Cs have been one of bio­phar­ma’s hottest ar­eas for deal­mak­ing. Lil­ly has inked two ac­qui­si­tions in the ADC field in re­cent quar­ters. And late last year, Bris­tol My­ers Squibb paid $100 mil­lion up­front to snag a Phase I-cleared ADC with a sim­i­lar ap­proach to Fire­fly’s, out of Orum Ther­a­peu­tics. But us­ing de­graders in AD­Cs is nascent.

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