Venture

Kymera raises $65M from global syndicate as it aims for the clinic with protein degradation tech

You can add Kymera Therapeutics to the list of biotechs attracting attention from an international set of investors.

The biotech is taking the lid off a $65 million round that’s been put together to help steer the discovery-stage company toward the clinic — a landmark affair for Kymera that isn’t going to arrive ahead of 2020.

Incubated by Atlas and blessed with a $30 million launch round a year ago — after starting up with seed funding in LabCentral in Cambridge, MA — Kymera now has the cash to grow the team and the pipeline of preclinical programs. Like others in the field, their scientists are focused on hijacking the body’s ubiquitin-proteasome system to dispose of proteins, binding to proteins and marking them for destruction.

Nello Mainolfi

But they’re doing it with a platform built on a complex approach using informatics-driven target identification coupled to predictive modeling, new degradation tools as well as novel E3 ligases and ligands. 

“It’s a pretty hot field,” Nello Mainolfi, the chief tech officer and co-founder, tells me. And the money gives them a chance to shine more of a light on the tech they’re using at a time that the “potential of degradation is just scratching the surface now.”

Laurent Audoly

The cash also gives the company, which isn’t saying much now about its lead programs, a chance to keep on adding talent, says CEO Laurent Audoly.

Protein degradation R&D isn’t new. Jay Bradner launched C4 Therapeutics to blaze the protein degradation approach just before he took the helm at the Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research, then recently formed a discovery alliance with UC Berkeley with the same basic approach in mind. Arvinas also has centered on protein degradation, building on the lab work of Yale’s Craig Crews.

6 Dimensions Capital out of China joined Bessemer Venture Partners and Pfizer Ventures in co-leading the deal, with participation by MRL Ventures Fund, Sanofi Ventures, Hatteras Venture Partners, and Aju IB Investment, in addition to Kymera’s Series A investors. Wei Li of 6 Dimensions Capital, Andrew Hedin of Bessemer Venture Partners, and Elaine Jones of Pfizer Ventures will join Kymera Therapeutics’ board.


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