RARE Daily

Degron Raises $22 Million to Advance Molecular-Glue-Based Protein Degradation Platform

June 9, 2022

Rare Daily Staff

Degron Therapeutics, a biotechnology company based in Shanghai and San Diego, raised $22 million in a series A financing round to develop a new class of small molecule medicines that target previously undruggable targets.

Med-Fine Capital led the financing with participation from Dyee Capital, Baidu Venture, and NeuX Capital, along with Degron’s seed investors, CO-WIN Ventures and Yuanbio Venture Capital.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the company’s GlueXplorer platform, a unique molecular glue-based targeted protein degradation platform to accelerate the development of novel drugs for previously undruggable targets in oncology, inflammation, metabolic disease, rare diseases, and other therapeutic areas. The company currently has three pipeline programs that have entered the lead-optimization phase, including a first-in-class target with essential roles in a broad range of cancers and immune diseases.

“We are pleased to have such strong support from this syndicate of blue-chip investors who recognize the potential of our industry-leading platform to build a new type of biotechnology company,” said Lily Zou, co-founder and CEO of Degron Therapeutics. “Small-molecule drugs have been the mainstay of disease treatments, but most disease targets remain undruggable. Our GlueXplorer platform has already yielded several preclinical candidates in disease areas including cancer, inflammatory diseases, and rare diseases.”

Founded in 2021, Degron Therapeutics builds on research and technologies developed in the laboratory of ShanghaiTech University professor and company co-founder Yong Cang. Using its proprietary GlueXplorer platform, Degron has created a unique and expanding library of molecular glue compounds that enable the targeting of previously undruggable targets. Degron’s platform uses a combination of phenotypic screening, proteomic screening, and artificial intelligence to predict novel targets and accelerate compound discovery. Beginning with a novel, patented scaffold, Degron has created more than 60 novel diverse cores and 6,000 compounds, of which almost all demonstrate binding to Cereblon (CBRN), an E3 ligase that promotes protein ubiquitination and degradation.

As part of the financing, Jing Yu, partner of Med-Fine Capital, joins Degron’s board of directors.

Photo: Lily Zou, co-founder and CEO of Degron Therapeutics

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