RARE Daily

Dren Bio Raises $60 Million to Develop Therapies for Rare Cancers

October 19, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Dren Bio said it raised $60 million in a series A financing round to advance development of its two lead programs to treat rare leukemias and lymphomas.

SR One and Taiho Ventures led the financing, with participation from existing investors 8VC and Mission BioCapital and new investors BVF Partners, HBM Healthcare Investments, and Alexandria Venture Investments.

Dren Bio is developing protein engineering technologies to deplete cells, protein aggregates, and other disease-causing agents. Dren’s lead programs are initially focused on hematologic neoplasms and solid cancers, but the company is also actively working in other areas including autoimmune disorders and diseases of protein aggregation.

Dren will utilize the proceeds of the financing to advance its two lead programs through early clinical development. Dren’s first program, DR-01, is an antibody-based therapy to treat rare leukemias and lymphomas as well as specific phenotypes of autoimmune disorders. Dren’s second program, DR-02, is an enhanced antibody-based platform to deplete cells and other disease-causing agents through a novel mechanism-of-action.

“Our strategy is to select the appropriate immune cell type to induce potent and measurable therapeutic effects,” said Nenad Tomasevic, Dren’s CEO and co-founder. “The DR-01 program employs enhanced ADCC to eliminate pathologic cells in clearly defined patient populations. Our DR-02 platform engages a different immune effector cell to a target, resulting in immune stimulation and target depletion.”

Tomasevic has more than twenty years of biotech development experience and previously co-founded Allakos, a clinical-stage, publicly traded company nearing commercialization.

Photo: Nenad Tomasevic, Dren’s CEO and co-founder

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