Endeavor BioMedicines Closes $101M Series B Funding to Advance Precision Medicine Pipeline to Clinical Stage
Three oncology and fibrotic disease programs in clinical development by the end of 2022
Endeavor BioMedicines, a clinical-stage biotechnology company targeting key drivers of end-stage disease, including oncology and fibrosis, today announced the completion of a $101 million Series B financing, led by Ally Bridge Group and Avidity Partners. New investors participating in the round include Perceptive Advisors, Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital, Revelation Partners, funds managed by Tekla Capital Management LLC, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. Existing investors Omega Funds and Longitude Capital also participated. The product will support the advancement of Endeavor’s pipeline programs, including ENV-101 (taladegib), a small molecule inhibitor of the PTCH1 receptor in the Hedgehog signaling pathway for the treatment of cancer and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) , as well as ENV-201 , a potentially best-in-class small molecule ULK1/2 inhibitor for the treatment of KRAS-induced cancers.
“Endeavor BioMedicines develops precision medicines targeting the genetic culprits of cancer and fibrosis,” said John Hood, Ph.D., co-founder, CEO and president of Endeavor BioMedicines. “Researchers have studied the Hedgehog and ULK1 signaling pathways for the past decade, but we now have the understanding and ability to identify patients who will benefit most. Capital raised from a syndicate of committed leading investors enables us to deliver the right medicine to the right patients to achieve the best clinical outcomes.
ENV-101: Targeting the Hedgehog Signaling Pathway in Oncology and Lung Disease
ENV-101 (taladegib), an orally available small molecule Hedgehog signaling pathway inhibitor, has already demonstrated impressive clinical efficacy and safety in nearly 200 subjects enrolled in six completed studies. Initially targeted for a large group of patients with basal cell carcinoma (BCC), Endeavor is currently investigating precision therapeutic approaches for ENV-101 in several types of cancers induced by the oncogene mutation PTCH1, as well as in IPF.
PTCH1, an oncogenic driver mutation of the hedgehog signaling pathway, is present in approximately 2% of all cancers. Due to its prevalence in multiple cancer types, Endeavor plans to enroll patients in a tumor-agnostic study that includes any patient with oncogenic hedgehog mutations, regardless of tissue of origin. Endeavor is currently recruiting patients for an open-label Phase 2 clinical trial in oncology (www.clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT05199584).
In IPF, myofibroblasts (the repair cells activated by the Hedgehog pathway) become deregulated and relentlessly remodel lung tissue, forming fibrotic scars and contracting the lung. Selective inhibition of this pathway in lung tissue effectively inactivates disease-causing myofibroblasts and forces them to undergo apoptosis, thereby eliminating the primary cellular motor of IPF. A Phase 2 clinical trial designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of taladegib monotherapy in subjects with mild to moderate IPF is currently being recruited (www.clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT04968574).
ENV-201: Targeting autophagy and ULK1/2 inhibition
ENV-201 is an orally available small molecule inhibitor of ULK1/2, an enzyme essential in a cellular recycling process called autophagy that is often linked to drug resistance in KRAS and STK11 mutated cancers. Tumor cells exploit this recycling process to provide much needed nutrients and metabolites when there is not enough in the available blood supply. Tumors, such as those with KRAS mutations, with high levels of autophagy are resistant to standard therapies, and these patients generally have a very poor prognosis. The researchers also discovered that specific genetic mutations frequently found in lung, colorectal and pancreatic cancers make these tumors highly dependent on this recycling pathway.
The combined research supports a precision approach targeting ULK1/2 to inhibit autophagy in genetically defined cancers, alone or in combination with existing chemotherapies, targeted therapies and immunotherapies. Endeavor expects to complete the IND studies to advance the program into the clinic within the next year.
Appointments to the Board of Directors
As part of the funding, Andrew Lam, Pharm.D. (Ally Bridge Group) and Monal Mehta, Ph.D. (Avidity Partners) will join John Hood, Ph.D. (Chairman), Bernard Davitian (Omega Funds) and Patrick Enright (Longitude Capital) as board members.
“Endeavor is led by a proven and experienced management team with a history of creating value from undervalued assets,” said Andrew Lam.
“We are proud to support an amazing team that has advanced an exciting pipeline of precision drugs in a short time to deliver disease-modifying treatments to patients,” said Monal Mehta.
About Endeavor BioMedicines
Endeavor BioMedicines is a clinical-stage precision medicine company targeting key drivers of multiple end-stage diseases, including oncology and fibrosis. We combine technological advances with an evolving understanding of terminal illnesses to develop best-in-class medicines with the potential to reverse the most serious health conditions. Our lead program, ENV-101, is a Hedgehog signaling inhibitor with proven clinical activity that we are studying in multiple cancers and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. At Endeavour, we are a highly skilled, innovative and focused team who have come together to live up to our name and our bold mission: to help patients feel better and live longer. Please visit us on our website at www.endeavorbiomedicines.com and on our LinkedIn and Twitter pages.