Venture Capital: Cancer Drugs Creator Erasca Expands Series B To $236M

September 1, 2020 | News, Venture Capital
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Erasca commenced its $200 million Series B fundraising in April.

Erasca, whose mission it is to Erase Cancer, announced Monday the completion of a $36 million extension of its Series B round, originally targeted for $200 million. The new investors this time around were Partner Fund Management and OrbiMed. (CrunchBase)

The original $200 million Series B round was led by ARCH Venture Partners and Cormorant Asset Management. New investors at that time included EDBI, Terra Magnum Capital Partners, and Invus.

The latest extension brings Erasca’s Series B to a total of $236 million and its cumulative funding to $300 million.

Use of funds

Erasca said it will use the Series B funding to support the clinical development of multiple oncology programs, corporate development, and further advance the company’s in-house drug discovery pipeline.

The company has both in-house drug discovery programs for oncology as well as through collaborations with world-class academic and biopharmaceutical organizations.

“The company’s portfolio of potentially first-in-class and best-in-class assets will target significant unmet medical needs across multiple cancer types,” said Mark Karvosky, a partner at Partner Fund Management. “We are excited to support this team and its programs, as Erasca strives to deliver practice-changing precision oncology therapies.”

Recent appointment

Erasca announced August 24 the appointment of Michael Varney, Ph.D., as its Chairman of Research & Development (R&D). Dr. Varney will also be a member of the company’s Scientific Advisory board. He recently retired from being the Executive Vice President and Head of Genentech’s Research and Early Development.

“Erasca’s understanding of cancer genomics and biomarkers will enable it to create a precision oncology platform,” said Dr. Varney. “In less than two years, Erasca has advanced multiple compounds into near-clinical stage – a very significant accomplishment.”

Erasca described Dr. Varney as a pioneer drug discoverer and biotech leader. He led a team at biotech Agouron that developed protein-structure based design, a novel approach to drug discovery that is utilized globally by drug discovery teams today.

Agouron, under the leadership of Dr. Varney, discovered and marketed several currently marketed anti-cancer agents, including Xalkori® and Inlyta®, a drug that won the American Chemical Society’s Heroes of Chemistry Award in 2018.

Related Story:   Early Cancer Detection Company Freenome Lands $270M

Image:  An Erasca Lab                                         

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