Quanta Therapeutics Raises Over $50 Million in Series D Financing to Advance its Pipeline of KRAS Inhibitors
– Funds will support advancement of two KRAS inhibitor programs into the clinic in 2024 –
– Financing led by Avidity Partners, with participation from syndicate of existing investors –
RADNOR, Pa. & SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 22, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Quanta Therapeutics, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company pioneering targeted therapies to treat RAS-driven cancers, today announced a $50.7 million Series D financing. The financing was led by Avidity Partners and was supported by Quanta’s existing investors including Sofinnova Investments, Vida Ventures, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Longitude Capital, BVF Partners and AbbVie Ventures. Other new participants were GC&H Investments (the partner fund of Cooley LLP) and WS Investment Company (Wilson Sonsini’s venture arm). The Series D funding brings the total amount raised since inception to over $142 million.
“We are pleased to add Avidity Partners to our strong syndicate of high quality investors that share our vision for developing next-generation oral KRAS inhibitors with the potential to address mutations beyond G12C,” said Perry Nisen, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Quanta Therapeutics. “With this additional funding, we will be well positioned to rapidly advance our two lead KRAS programs into the clinic in 2024 and generate proof-of-concept data.”
Leveraging unique chemistry that targets multiple conformations of KRAS, Quanta Therapeutics' allosteric approach has the potential to expand the scope of treatable KRAS-mutant cancers while evading known mechanisms of resistance. The proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Quanta’s pipeline including:
- Two chemically distinct allosteric KRAS inhibitors, QTX3034, a multi-KRAS inhibitor, and QTX3046, a G12D-selective KRAS inhibitor. Data from both programs, recently presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, demonstrated favorable preclinical profiles, including potent anti-tumor activity with oral bioavailability and brain penetration. These programs are currently in Investigational New Drug Application (IND)-enabling studies to support anticipated clinical trial initiation in KRAS-driven solid tumor indications in 2024.
- A novel RAF1 discovery program employing direct allosteric modulation of the active RAS-RAF1 membrane signaling complex to selectively target a broad spectrum of RAS-driven tumors with the potential for kinase-independent synthetic lethality. Quanta’s oral small molecule lead candidates from this program have displayed in vivo proof-of-concept activity.
- Additional discovery programs with undisclosed targets, including combination partners for Quanta’s lead programs.
“Quanta Therapeutics’ team of industry-leading scientists and advisors have developed differentiated platform capabilities and made tremendous strides in drugging one of the most challenging targets in oncology,” said Lei Meng, Senior Therapeutics Analyst at Avidity Partners. “We are thrilled to lead the Series D investment and look forward to working with the Quanta team to bring these important medicines to cancer patients as quickly as possible.”
“We are excited about the Quanta team’s potential to apply their unique allosteric-based approach to the development of oral small molecules for patients with difficult-to-treat KRAS-driven cancers,” added Maha Katabi, Ph.D., CFA, General Partner at Sofinnova Investments. “In the current biotech market, I believe companies who are leading their field with differentiated science and continue to show successful execution will garner strong investor support. In my opinion, Quanta is one of those companies.”
About RAS and the MAPK Pathway
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is a chain of proteins that includes the signaling molecules RAS, RAF, MEK, and ERK. It is a central pathway that regulates cellular growth, proliferation, differentiation, and survival. When one of the proteins is mutated, it can drive tumor development and growth. RAS is the most frequently mutated oncogene in cancer, with KRAS mutations occurring in nearly one-quarter of all human cancers. RAS mutations impair the ability of RAS to convert from its active GTP-bound “ON” form into its inactive GDP-bound “OFF” state, leading to the sustained activation of the MAPK signaling pathway and ultimately driving tumorigenesis. KRAS mutations, especially G12D, G12V, and G12C, are highly prevalent in pancreatic, colorectal, and lung cancers. First-generation KRAS inhibitors have demonstrated clinical benefit, but their impact is limited to a subset of patients with a single type of KRAS mutation (G12C), and these tumors commonly develop resistance to treatment.
About Quanta Therapeutics
Quanta Therapeutics is a private biopharmaceutical company focused on the most prevalent and elusive target in oncology—RAS. Our vision is to develop novel small molecule cancer medicines by selectively targeting protein-protein interactions that are key to oncogenic RAS activity. Driving Quanta's success is our unique high-throughput platform that applies Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) optical technology to identify allosteric modulators of membrane-bound protein complexes. The Quanta team has extensive drug development expertise and substantial research experience in the RAS space. By applying innovative medicinal chemistry and its unique protein conformation detection technology, Quanta aims to advance differentiated, next-generation RAS programs that address the resistance paradigms of targeted therapy in oncology. Quanta is headquartered in South San Francisco, CA, and has a site in Radnor, PA.
Find more information at https://www.quantatx.com/
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