Auron Therapeutics announces $48 million Series A financing to drive novel oncology pipeline leveraging a machine learning, multi-omics-based platform
Auron expands its leadership team with the appointments of David Millan, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer, Thomas Graeber, Ph.D., as Chief Data Officer, Andrea Armstrong as Chief People Officer and Briggs Morrison, M.D., as Independent Chairman of the Board.
Newton, Mass., July 20, 2022 — Auron Therapeutics (“Auron”), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies that target dysregulated differentiation and cellular plasticity for treating cancer, today announced the completion of its $48 million Series A financing round. Proceeds will be used to advance the lead program toward clinical development and drive additional programs into drug discovery. Funds will also be used to expand the proprietary, machine learning-based computational platform, AURigin, that is used to identify novel drug targets, and add personnel to support and accelerate research and development.
The financing round was led by DCVC Bio with additional support from new investors Mubadala Capital and Apollo Health Ventures, and from existing investors Arkin Bio Ventures, Polaris Partners, Qiming Venture Partners USA, Eli Lilly and Company, BrightEdge (the investment arm of the American Cancer Society), Franklin Berger and Casdin Capital. Dr. Eric Shiozaki, Ph.D., Partner at DCVC Bio and Dr. Alexandra Cantley, Ph.D., Partner at Polaris Partners will be joining the Company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Rami Hannoush, Ph.D., Partner at Mubadala Capital, and Dr. Marianne Mertens, Ph.D., Partner at Apollo Health Ventures, will join the Company as Board observers.
“Dysregulation of normal cellular differentiation processes can alter normal cell biology leading to tumor formation and progression,” said Dr. Yen, founder and CEO. “Most current cancer therapeutics aim to kill rapidly dividing tumor cells or by activating the patient’s immune responses. Our approach is different. We have built a machine learning, multi-omics based computational platform that enables us to rapidly identify the differentiation pathways that have been hijacked by the cancer cells. Drugging these pathways pushes the cancer cells to stop proliferating by promoting differentiation and/or cell death.”
Dr. Yen added, “I am equally as excited about the strong team we are building at Auron. Dave is a passionate drug hunter and medicinal chemist with over twenty years of experience, while Tom brings an array of computational approaches to the team as a leading cancer systems biologist at UCLA. I am also excited to have Andrea join our leadership team to support the growth and cultural build of the company and Briggs’ exceptional experience developing numerous therapies across multiple disease areas, has already proven to be a valuable asset to the company.”
Dr. Shiozaki shared, “Targeting cellular plasticity and differentiation pathways identified through Auron’s proprietary multi-omic translational platform, is distinct from existing anti-cancer approaches available today and has the potential to be employed as monotherapy or in combination with different therapeutic modalities. We are excited to participate in Auron’s growth and look forward to the advance of its lead candidate into clinical development, as well as the development of its drug discovery pipeline.”
Dr. Morrison added, “The novel targets identified using Auron’s platform may enable completely innovative approaches to treating cancer that are complementary, rather than competitive, with existing therapeutics.”
About Auron Therapeutics.
Auron Therapeutics is shifting the paradigm of cancer treatment to target key drivers of dysregulated differentiation and cellular plasticity in tumors. This type of therapy, called differentiation therapy, offers lifesaving, transformative treatments for patients and their families. Please find more information at www.aurontx.com.
Kate Yen, Ph.D.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer