Maze Therapeutics spins out two new companies with Alloy and BridgeBio
The startup has become the starter.
Just under two years after bursting onto the scene with close to $200 million, Maze Therapeutics is spinning out two new companies, focusing its human genetics and functional genomics platform on ophthalmology and cardiovascular disease.
The new companies — Broadwing Bio and Contour Therapeutics — were formed from partnerships with Alloy Therapeutics and BridgeBio respectively. While the companies are keeping the financial terms under wraps, Maze says it has three programs going between the two collaborations.
Maze launched last February with a $191 million infusion led by investors Third Rock Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners. Its COMPASS platform is designed to do three things, CEO Jason Coloma explained: identify particular drug targets through large amounts of human genetic and functional genomic data; assess the best way those targets can be drugged; and identify the patients who would best benefit from the treatment.
Broadwing will pair the COMPASS platform with Alloy’s ATX-Gx mouse platform for antibody discovery to generate ophthalmology candidates — an area where Coloma said there hasn’t been a lot of progress in identifying genetic subsets of patients.
“If you look at diseases like glaucoma, by and large, there hasn’t been a lot of innovation there. And we haven’t been really able to find real genetic drivers where we think there’s going to be many patients that can benefit,” he said.
Andrew Peterson, Genentech’s former senior molecular biology and metabolic disease director, has been tapped to lead the charge as founder and CEO.
The BridgeBio partnership is focused on cardiovascular disease, and unites connections from BridgeBio, Maze and MyoKardia — which was co-founded by senior leaders at BridgeBio and Maze. Richard Scheller and Maze founder Charles Homcy, for example, are on both the BirdgeBio and Maze boards. And BridgeBio CEO Neil Kumar and Homcy both trace back to MyoKardia.
“So a lot of this was really based on, how we can get a lot of these people back together … in the sense of building out another sort of area in precision medicine cardiology?” Coloma said.
Both partnerships are still early in drug discovery, and while no specific candidates have been announced, Coloma says more news should come in the next 12 months.
“What we wanted to do … was think about a different type of model to really advance these particular drug programs. I think we found partners that allow us to do that,” Coloma said.