RARE Daily

Star Therapeutics Raises $90 Million to Fund Pipeline of Novel Antibody Therapies and Grow Its Portfolio Companies

September 5, 2023

Rare Daily Staff

Star Therapeutics said it closed an oversubscribed $90 million series C financing to continue growth of its first-in-class antibody therapies and portfolio companies.

Sofinnova Investments led the financing, which included new investors Qatar Investment Authority, Catalio Capital Management, Agent Capital, Soleus Capital, and NYBC Ventures, as well as participation by all existing investors including Westlake Village BioPartners, OrbiMed, Redmile Group, RA Capital Management, New Leaf Venture Partners, Cormorant Asset Management, and Cowen Healthcare Investments.

Including this series C round, Star Therapeutics has raised more than $190 million since inception to create numerous portfolio companies.

Proceeds from the financing will support clinical advancement of VGA039, a first-in-class antibody currently being evaluated in a phase 1a/1b study for von Willebrand disease, a lifelong bleeding disorder in which blood does not clot properly. The therapy is being developed by Vega Therapeutics, a Star portfolio company focused on underserved blood disorders.

Proceeds will also be used to continue Star’s approach as an innovation engine to generate additional biotech companies focused on discovering and advancing novel antibody therapies, each targeting multiple diseases. Besides Vega, Star’s portfolio includes Electra Therapeutics, which is targeting the signal regulatory protein (SIRP) family of cell surface receptors to address immunological diseases and cancer. Electra’s lead program targets secondary hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (sHLH) a rare clinical syndrome in certain patients with autoimmune diseases, cancer, or infections that is characterized by fever, hepatosplenomegaly, cytopenia, and progressive multiple-organ failure.

“Our syndicate of seasoned life sciences investors is ideally suited to support our growth and mission to develop life-changing therapies for as many patients as possible, building on our success to date with novel therapeutic approaches in hematology and immunology,” said Adam Rosenthal, CEO and founder of Star Therapeutics. “To date, we have unveiled two biotech companies that have rapidly advanced antibodies from idea stage to the clinic, and we aim to replicate this success with additional biotech companies in the Star portfolio.”

Photo: Adam Rosenthal, CEO and founder of Star Therapeutics

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