CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – December 18, 2015 – Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines targeting the activation of mTORC1, today announced the completion of a $33 million Series B financing. Proceeds from the financing will be used to accelerate the development of Navitor’s pipeline of first-in-class selective modulators of the mTORC1 pathway that plays a key role in a range of chronic diseases of aging as well as rare disorders. The Series B funding will enable Navitor to advance a lead program into clinical trials with the objective of demonstrating initial efficacy and safety. The company will also continue to develop additional pipeline candidates and augment its proprietary drug discovery platform.
The Series B round was led by new investor Brace Pharma Capital, LLC, a strategic investment company formed by EMS S.A., the largest pharmaceutical company in Brazil, and high net worth biotech investors, and includes participation by new investors Remeditex Ventures, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures, and an undisclosed individual investor. Existing investors Polaris Partners, Atlas Venture, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. and SR One, Ltd. also participated in the financing.
“We are excited to welcome three exceptional new investors to our syndicate and have the continued support of our existing key investor group. We believe this financing reflects excitement for our innovative therapeutic approach of selectively targeting mTORC1 and recognizes our significant progress over the past year in advancing our lead small molecule programs,” said George P. Vlasuk, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Navitor. “As we move forward with discovering first-in-class medicines, we are delivering on our mission to create next generation therapies that significantly improve the lives of patients affected by chronic diseases of aging and other disorders associated with dysregulation of mTORC1 activation. The additional capital from this financing gives Navitor the necessary resources to advance our drug discovery efforts toward the demonstration of clinical efficacy.”
The Series B financing will enable the advancement of Navitor’s pipeline of novel drug compounds that target the mTORC1 activation pathway towards the demonstration of clinical efficacy and safety, opening up the potential for expanded therapeutic opportunities characterized by mTORC1 dysregulation that are currently underserved by available treatments. The pipeline includes novel therapeutics that have the potential to either “turn up” or “turn down” nutrient and growth factor-responsive cellular pathways to restore normal mTORC1 function. By selectively targeting and controlling aberrant cellular signaling mediated by the mTORC1 pathway, Navitor’s therapeutics are designed to rebalance these signals and restore normal function and impact the underlying biology of multiple diseases that are the result of mTORC1 dysregulation, including metabolic, neurodegenerative, immune/autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases, as well as several rare disorders.
In conjunction with the financing, Vinzenz Ploerer, President & CEO of Brace Pharma Capital, will join the Navitor Board of Directors. Mr. Ploerer stated “Navitor has assembled an outstanding team and is executing a sound strategy that has yielded promising results against multiple unprecedented targets leading to the dysregulation of mTORC1 activity.”
Raymond Schinazi, PhD, DSc, the Founder of Pharmasset and a member of both the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board of Brace Pharma Capital, commented further “Selective modulation of mTORC1 activation has the potential to generate first-in-class innovative therapeutics for multiple indications with significant unmet need. Navitor has assembled a world-class team that has the experience and vision to create tremendous value for patients.”
Barry Burgdorf, Chief Operating Officer of Remeditex Ventures, who will also join the Navitor Board of Directors, added “Remeditex invests in biotech companies that are hard at work on advancing breakthrough science with the promise to alleviate major health burdens and which are led by a management team of vision and creativity. Navitor matches this profile completely.”
The mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) kinase exists in two multi‐protein complexes within the cell, called mTORC1 and mTORC2. Both complexes are critical signaling nodes that regulate multiple cellular functions including metabolism, growth and response to changes in the cell’s environment. mTORC1 responds to and integrates the cell’s response to nutrient availability and growth factors and plays a key role in protein synthesis and cellular growth. As a critical regulatory pathway, mTORC1 is often dysregulated in multiple diseases across several important therapeutic areas. While several approved drugs (rapamycin and related allosteric mTORC1 inhibitors) target the broad mTOR pathway for certain specific disease applications, the use of these first generation drugs has been limited since they inhibit both mTORC1 and mTORC2, leading to undesirable side effects when used chronically. Navitor’s therapeutics are designed to selectively modulate the cellular signals that are aberrant in disease processes caused by the dysregulation of mTORC1 activity without inhibiting mTORC2.
Navitor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines by targeting cellular nutrient signaling pathways. The company’s proprietary drug discovery platform targets mTORC1, which responds to and integrates the cell’s response to nutrient availability and plays a key role in protein synthesis and cellular growth. Navitor’s therapeutics are designed to selectively modulate the cellular signals that are aberrant in disease processes caused by the dysregulation of mTORC1 activation to address a wide range of diseases, including metabolic, neurodegenerative, autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases, as well as age-related immune suppression and several rare disorders. The company’s founding intellectual property is based on the groundbreaking discoveries related to the mTORC1 pathway and nutrient signaling mechanisms by Dr. David Sabatini at The Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. The company is backed by leading financial and corporate investors, including Polaris Partners, Atlas Venture, Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., SR One, Ltd., Brace Pharma Capital, Remeditex Ventures and Sanofi-Genzyme Bioventures. For more information, please visit www.navitorpharma.com.
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