Nexo Therapeutics has today unveiled sweeping changes with a dramatic $60 million Series A funding round led by founding investor Versant Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, and Cormorant Asset Management.
Taking their collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to the next level, Nexo Therapeutics and the Cancer Center have partnered to expand their research activities over the next several years. A separate announcement provides a glimpse into the detailed partnership between the organizations.
Nexo is unlocking a pipeline of novel cancer therapies directed towards previously intractable targets with the innovative combination of covalent ligand discovery and chemical biology. With the recent financing, Nexo’s platform is set to become the forefront of unravelling the mysteries of cancer and bringing new treatments to those who need it.
At Nexo, we are revolutionizing the way cancer is treated by leveraging cutting-edge technologies in covalent chemistry and chemical biology to identify and target the fundamental drivers of cancer. Our experience and expertise in cancer biology and medicinal chemistry is enabling us to create new and effective treatment options that aim to deliver better outcomes for cancer patients.
Conventional approaches to ligand discovery, selectivity optimization and pharmacology can present significant obstacles when it comes to developing treatments for some of the most promising targets in oncology.
Traditional methods for uncovering drug targets often fail to meet the necessary standards for quality, potency and therapeutic potential, while optimizing for selectivity can be particularly demanding. Fortunately, today we have access to more advanced approaches to address these challenges and pave the way to the future of cancer treatment.
Nexo is a revolutionary platform that combines state-of-the-art chemistry and biology technologies to tackle a host of major problems in the chemical industry. It provides an effective solution to a range of previously unsolved concerns, from supply chain issues to quality control and safety. With Nexo, users are ensured accuracy and precision in the delivery of their desired results, addressing their every need.
At Covalent Pharmaceuticals, we have developed an incredibly powerful chemistry engine – CODON – to find the optimal solutions to tough ligand discovery challenges. Our proprietary library of chemical elements uses optimal covalent chemistries in tandem with efficient biochemical and in-cell proteomics, allowing us to find promising hit compounds and conduct rapid optimization to make compounds suitable for in vivo studies. Our innovative chemistry engine allows us to uncover new possibilities to move science forward.
Nexo’s CODON engine is revolutionizing target discovery by enabling covalent fragment-based approaches for all ligandable amni acids. With access to an expansive internal library and cutting-edge biochemical and in-cell mass spectrometry capabilities, Nexo is ready to tackle some of the toughest challenges in the field and unlock the potential of previously impossible targets. It definitely looks like Nexo is set to make some game changing discoveries!
Nexo’s INFINI-T platform is revolutionizing the way that target biology and pharmacology questions are addressed. This chimeric fusion protein technique is controlled by small molecules in cellular and in vivo models, providing unprecedented information on the level, range and specificity of target inhibition. Thanks to INFINI-T, drug candidates now make it to the clinic faster than ever before, reducing both time and capital investments!
At Nexo, we’re revolutionizing the treatment of cancer and other diseases with our unique platform combination of capabilities that can be used at scale. We’re proud to have Versant Ventures as the leader of our Series A financing, and we welcome their highly experienced team as we strive to create a diverse therapeutic pipeline. Together, we are working to make meaningful progress in the fight against complex illnesses.
We are thrilled to back Nexo’s ambitious vision for transforming the fight against cancer. With pioneering science and inventive approaches, we can make strides to open up new treatment options for cancer patients. It’s an honor to join Nexo’s board and team up with NEA to develop breakthrough therapies based on new discoveries in cancer biology.
Leadership team and founders
Nexo is led by an all-star team of accomplished executives and founders who possess an exceptional combination of knowledge and experience in areas such as chemistry, cancer biology, chemical biology, drug discovery, strategy and operations. Their expertise is unparalleled and provides the perfect foundation to ensure successful and innovative solutions for customers.
Andrew Phillips, Ph.D., CEO and Founder
Dr. Phillips is an experienced and highly esteemed leader in the finance and biotech industries. Recently Managing Director at Cormorant Asset Management, LP, and Chief Financial Officer of Helix Acquisition Corp, he was also President and Chief Executive Officer of C4 Therapeutics prior to this.
From the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard he held the position of Senior Director, Center for Development of Therapeutics. His impressive academic background includes holding the title of Professor of Chemistry at Yale University and Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado.
Michael Kim, Ph.D., COO and Co-Founder
Dr. Kim is an accomplished professional with a wealth of experience in strategy, business development, financing, and operations from his tenure at companies such as Alkermes, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, FORUM Pharmaceuticals and ARIAD Pharmaceuticals.
He then joined C4 Therapeutics as Chief Business Officer where he successfully brokered partnerships with Biogen and Roche and forged a productive operational model and pipeline. Now, he is bringing his comprehensive expertise to Nexo.
Rhamy Zeid, Ph.D., VP, Head of Biology and Co-Founder
Dr. Zeid is an invaluable addition to Nexo’s team, bringing a wealth of knowledge and expertise in small molecule oncology drug discovery, chemical biology, and chromatin biology. Before joining the team, he was Head of Discovery Biology at Nested Therapeutics and Head of Target Biology at C4 Therapeutics, contributing majorly to research and platform development. His leadership and skills further solidify Nexo’s commitment to expanding precision oncology and groundbreaking research.
John Athanosopoulos, VP, Head of Operations and Co-Founder
For the past 25 years, Panos Athanasopoulos has been helping to drive the success of early-stage therapeutics companies. In his leadership roles at Proteovant Therapeutics, Jnana Therapeutics, and C4 Therapeutics, he has led the creation of corporate headquarters and guided companies in shaping their operational strategies. Now, as a member of Nexo, he continues to lend his considerable skills to the advancement of biotechnology.
Joe Patel, Ph.D., VP, Head of Discovery
Dr. Patel is an experienced structural biologist and preclinical project manager, whose expertise in fragment-based drug discovery has enabled him to lead many successful small molecule discovery projects. Most recently, he served as VP Structural Biology at Treeline Biosciences, where he grew a unified, interdisciplinary lead discovery team.
Prior to that, Dr. Patel held research leadership roles at C4 Therapeutics and AstraZeneca, and started his career at Astex Pharmaceuticals. His passion for innovation in drug discovery is evident in the accomplishments and breakthroughs Nexo is making today.
The Nexo team is primed to take the pharmaceutical world by storm with their unique insight into drug targets and their operational expertise. Not only can Nexo offer revolutionary insight into the development of the next wave of covalent drugs, but they also possess the necessary know-how to make tangible progress for those who need it most. Bihua Chen, founder and general partner at Cormorant Asset Management, is excited by what this team has to offer.
About Nexo Therapeutics
Nexo Therapeutics is at the forefront of developing meaningful therapies for cancer patients with no current treatment options. By utilizing a combination of covalent ligand discovery, chemical biology, cancer biology, and medicinal chemistry, this innovative company is targeting the underlying causes of cancer. Led by Founder and CEO, Andrew Phillips, PhD, Nexo’s cutting-edge research is based out of Golden, CO and Watertown, MA.
About Versant Ventures
At Versant Ventures, we believe that entrepreneurs should be given the opportunity to unleash their potential and create the next generation of world-changing companies. We are proud to have launched over 95 successful companies in the biotech sector, through our $5.3 billion venture capital fund.
Our experienced team dedicated to operating, investing and R&D has served us well over the years, allowing us to form a deep relationship with each company we work with. With offices across the U.S., Canada and Europe, Versant Ventures is uniquely positioned to provide the resources and expertise needed to make the most out of each venture.
Since 1977, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) has been the go-to venture capital firm for ambitious entrepreneurs looking to build transformational businesses, no matter the scale or sector. Over the course of its long and distinguished track record, NEA has invested more than $24 billion in seed, technology, healthcare, and IPO companies, leading to 260 IPOs and 440 mergers and acquisitions. Join the ranks of innovative, successful companies aided by NEA’s dedicated team of professionals.
About Cormorant Asset Management
Since its establishment in 2013, Cormorant Asset Management, LP has been a driving force in the life sciences industry. Consequently, Cormorant has now built a vast portfolio with $2.5 billion in assets under management.
The firm focuses on investing in public and private innovative biotech, medtech, and life science companies, playing an active part in fueling their growth. Notably, Cormorant has made more than 100 investments in life-science crossover opportunities since 2015, demonstrating just how committed they are to the industry.