Startups, Venture

Nancy Stagliano bags another $45M for True North’s rare disease R&D


Nancy Stagliano, True North

Nancy Stagliano has a habit of remaining precisely on message when she talks about South San Francisco-based True North Therapeutics.

Her new $45 million round announced today brings the total she’s raised for the biotech to $142 million. Yes, she says she still has some of that earlier cash raised in the bank. But don’t look for her to tout how much runway she has now, what kind of development timelines are on the chalk board or say much about the prospect of an IPO after a round that includes investors like Franklin Templeton Investments.

“It gives us a lot of good options,” she says, in her purposefully vague style. New, strong investors gives True North a shot at continuing to raise money in “whatever way to finance the company that makes sense.”

True North’s 19-member team did recently get a chance to talk about some very early-stage human data, though in its usually disciplined fashion. The lead drug, TNT009, are designed to tackle C1s, a serine protease engaged in the classical complement pathway involved in governing the human immune system.  Investigators tested it on 5 patients with a rare blood disease called cold agglutinin disease, an autoimmune condition which is described as a type of hemolytic anemia in which autoantibodies target and destroy red blood cells, and highlighted signs of rapid onset with complete responses.

A whole slate of early stage studies are underway now, but as I noted, Stagliano doesn’t get into much detail about mid-stage planning.

But you can be sure that there’s been plenty of thought being put into planning at True North. Stagliano was handed a failed company when she took over iPierian, built a new research focus and then split the company, eventually selling off the restructured iPierian and its work on Alzheimer’s to Bristol-Myers Squibb for $175 million down and up to $550 million in milestones.

HBM Partners and Redmile Group and existing investor Perceptive Advisors led the round for True North.

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