Step Pharma Raises $41.3 Million to Advance First-in-Class Therapy to Clinic in T Cell Malignancies
March 24, 2021
Rare Daily Staff
Step Pharma said it closed a $41.3 million (€35 million) series B financing that will be used to advance its lead candidate STP938 into clinical development for the treatment of T-cell malignancies.
Hadean Ventures and Sunstone Life Science Ventures co-led the round, joining existing investors Kurma Partners, Pontifax, and Bpifrance, which reinvested through its Innovative Biotherapies and Rare Diseases fund and InnoBio 2 fund. As part of the financing, Jacob Moresco from Sunstone Life Science Ventures and Walter Stockinger from Hadean Ventures will join the Step Pharma board of directors.
“The closing of this Series B will enable Step Pharma to transform into a clinical-stage company, enabling us to advance our lead compound into the clinic in Q1 2022,” said Andrew Parker, CEO of Step Pharma.
Step Pharma will also use the funding to advance development of CTPS1 inhibitors in other hematological malignancies and solid tumors. CTPS1 (cytidine nucleotide triphosphate) is a precursor required for DNA synthesis and cell division. Patients deficient in the enzyme CTPS1 have an altered immune cell proliferation response to immune challenge but no other deleterious effects. This same pathway supports the uncontrolled growth of cancerous T and B cells, thus inhibiting CTPS1 represents a novel precision oncology approach to specifically block proliferation and induce killing of cancerous cells in lymphoma and leukemia.
“CTPS1 is an elegant target for the development of drugs in the T-cell malignancy space in which there is significant unmet need,” said Roger Franklin, partner at Hadean Ventures. “The strength of the underlying science, its support from human genetic work as well as the clear commercial opportunity were key factors in our decision to back Step and co-lead this significant financing.”
Photo: Andrew Parker, CEO of Step Pharma
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