MBrace Therapeutics, Inc. (“MBrace”), a privately-held biopharmaceutical company devoted to improving the lives of cancer patients through the development of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) against novel oncology targets, announced the completion of an $85 million Series B financing, bringing the company’s total raised to $110 million. Funds will be used to support clinical development programs, including a first-in-human clinical trial of lead investigational ADC, MBRC-101.
TPG led the round, investing in the company through its dedicated life sciences fund, TPG Life Sciences Innovations (TPG LSI), and its multi-sector impact strategy, The Rise Fund. The round also included new investors Avidity Partners and Cowen Healthcare Investments, as well as existing Series A investors, Venrock and Alta Partners.
Originally founded in June 2020 by Isan Chen, M.D., Renata Pasqualini, Ph.D., and Wadih Arap, M.D., Ph.D., MBrace is focused on developing lead ADC candidate, MBRC-101, and is advancing its proprietary SPARTA approach, which accelerates the development of antibody-based drugs for personalized medicine. MBrace has generated extensive preclinical data on novel drug candidates in-licensed from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
“This investor syndicate shares our confidence in the potential of our novel ADC therapeutics pipeline to meaningfully impact the treatment of people with difficult-to-treat cancers,” said Isan Chen, M.D., president and chief executive officer at MBrace. “This additional capital will enable us to advance our clinical programs, including entering Phase 1 study with MBRC-101 before end of year and progressing our differentiated approach to the clinical development of our additional ADC pipeline candidates. We are well poised to make significant progress in the near-term and continue on a positive growth trajectory.”
MBRC-101 targets the EphA5 receptor tyrosine kinase, which is present in multiple cancers including, but not limited to, breast, non-small cell lung (NSCLC), colorectal, gastric, and pancreatic cancers. The MBrace team will present preclinical data for MBRC-101 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on December 7, 2023.
“We are thrilled to support MBrace in improving the lives of cancer patients with significant unmet clinical need,” said Carolyn Ng, Ph.D., Business Unit Partner with TPG LSI. “Powered by a team of seasoned drug developers, with support from an accomplished Board with great collective experience building successful pharmaceutical companies, MBrace is deeply committed and well positioned to realize its vision of bringing innovative first-in-class ADC therapeutics to the clinic.”
The company also welcomed Christopher LeMasters, MBA, CEO of XinThera, to the MBrace Board of Directors as an independent director. XinThera is a subsidiary of Gilead Pharmaceuticals that is focused on small molecule discovery and development of oncology and immunology therapeutics. LeMasters brings decades of experience in oncology therapeutics to MBrace. In addition to LeMasters, Ng and Monal Mehta, Ph.D., of Avidity Partners will also join the Board in conjunction with the financing. These additions complement the deep expertise of existing board members Bob More of Alta Partners and Racquel Bracken of Venrock.