Rare Daily Staff

Newly unveiled Rallybio, a rare disease drug developer co-founded by three former Alexion Pharmaceutical executives, said it raised $37 million in a Series A venture funding.

5AM Ventures, Canaan Partners, and New Leaf Venture Partners led the financing, with additional public-sector participation from Connecticut Innovations, the company said.

Martin Mackay, Stephen Uden, and Jeffrey Fryer, co-founded Rallybio in January 2018. Mackay had been an executive vice president and global head of R&D at Alexion, Uden served as senior vice president and head of research at Alexion, and Fryer worked as vice president and chief tax officer for the company.

“Given their proven track records in developing important new medicines, we are confident that Rallybio has the potential to return the highest value for patients and their families, physicians, and investors alike,” said Timothy Shannon, general partner, Canaan Partners.

While the company said it was established to “identify and accelerate the development of transformative breakthrough therapies for patients with severe and rare disorders,” it has not identified any specific disease areas it will pursue.

In describing the rationale for the company on its website, it says it sees an opportunity to develop new therapies that support Big Pharma growth aspirations with an infrastructure that minimizes risk. That’s because of the high cost of developing rare disease drugs within large companies, and the move away from rare disease drug developing some larger companies are making as concerns grow about the future of reimbursement for these high-priced therapies.

“We will work on highly-promising drug candidates that have strong biological rationales and that can be addressed using the well-validated therapeutic modalities of small molecules, engineered proteins, and antibodies,” the company said on its website.

April 25, 2018
Photo: Martin Mackay, Stephen Uden, and Jeffrey Fryer, co-founders of Rallybio