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Tectonic Therapeutic launches with $80m series A

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To drug the ‘undruggable’ – Tectonic’s series A financing to transform the discovery of novel G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR)-targeted therapies is co-led by Vida Ventures, T A Springer, and Polaris Partners, with participation from EcoR1 Capital.

Tectonic Therapeutic, a pre-clinical stage biotech seeking to transform the discovery of novel G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR)-targeted therapies, has announced that it has raised $80 million in Series A financing. The financing was co-led by Vida Ventures, T.A. Springer, and Polaris Partners, with participation from EcoR1 Capital.

Longevity.Technology: Tectonic has an impressive pedigree, being co-founded in 2019 by Andrew Kruse, PhD, Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and Timothy A Springer, PhD, Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, both world-renowned scientists in the field of membrane protein biochemistry and immunology.

GPCRs are frequently targeted in the development of novel therapeutics for central nervous system (CNS) and as potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of neurodegeneration [1]. However, some receptors in this class have been proved difficult to target and been considered undruggable with small molecules. Tectonic’s proprietary GEODe platform seeks to change that. GPCR function contributes to the pathophysiology of various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease, all of which are debilitating and linked to aging, both in terms of risk factor and shared pathways.

Tectonic’s mission is to unlock the full potential of GPCR-targeted therapies with biologics. Dr Springer, a well respected recognised immunologist and significant investor in the Series A, has founded multiple biotech companies including LeukoSite, Scholar Rock and Morphic Therapeutic, and was a founding investor of Moderna and Editas Medicine.

Springer’s research enabled the discovery of several important medicines including Campath, Velcade and Entyvio. Based on the pioneering work from Dr Kruse’s lab, Tectonic’s proprietary GEODe platform overcomes the challenges encountered to date in the discovery of biologics that modulate GPCR signalling, enabling the advancement of novel GPCR-targeted therapies.

Why are GPCRs important?

“GPCRs are central to human biology and are the target of approximately 30% of all currently approved drugs,” said Dr Springer. “However, many GPCRs still remain unexplored or are considered ‘undruggable’. The Tectonic platform makes it possible to develop a broad pipeline of biologics against the most challenging receptors in the class. Despite the rich pipeline of approved drugs, these target less than 15% of the GPCR class [2].”

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To harness the full potential of their platform, Tectonic has assembled an accomplished management team of industry veterans who have successfully led the development of more than 10 novel drugs across multiple therapeutic areas, including Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, Keytruda. Alise Reicin, MD, former President of Clinical Development at Celgene, has been appointed as the company’s President and CEO, and a member of the Board.

 


 

“…Our vision is shared by a world-class syndicate of investors who have a deep understanding of the industry and shared passion for delivering an innovative solution to a longstanding problem in drug discovery.”

 


 

Dr Reicin told Longevity.Technology: “GPCRs are fundamental to many aspects of human biology and therefore they play a role in many different therapeutic areas including age related diseases.”

“Founded on compelling science, Tectonic is committed to blazing a new trail for GPCR therapy,” Reicin said. “We are pursuing an efficient path to proof of concept in indications of high unmet need supported by strong biology. The team’s expertise and experience offer the potential for expansion to other challenging, and previously undruggable, cell-surface targets. We are excited that our vision is shared by a world-class syndicate of investors who have a deep understanding of the industry and shared passion for delivering an innovative solution to a longstanding problem in drug discovery [2].”

“Our visionary founders and management team have the ability not only to build on this transforming platform but also to fully capitalize on its potential in a wide array of therapeutic areas,” said Terry McGuire, Polaris Partners, who has joined the Board as Chairman. “With the expansion of our investor syndicate, and leadership from this exceptional leadership team, Tectonic will be in a position of strength to advance a broad pipeline of first-in-class treatments [2].”

Elevant

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32102186/
[2] https://bit.ly/3x3gHQ1

Image credit: Rawpixel

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Eleanor Garth
Deputy Editor Now a science and medicine journalist, Eleanor worked as a consultant for university spin-out companies and provided research support at Imperial College London and various London hospitals in a former life.
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