SAN DIEGO, Dec. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- eFFECTOR Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing translation regulators for the treatment of cancer, today announced that it has received $40 million in a Series B financing following the advancement of its lead program toward clinical trials. The financing was led by Altitude Life Science Ventures and joined by AbbVie Biotech Ventures and BioMed Ventures. All of eFFECTOR's existing investors, including Abingworth, Novartis Venture Fund, SR One, The Column Group, US Venture Partners, Astellas Ventures, Osage University Partners and Mission Bay Capital also participated in the round.
The funds will support an open-label Phase 1/2 trial that will evaluate daily oral administration of eFT508, a potent, highly selective, and orally bioavailable MNK1 and MNK2 inhibitor, in patients with advanced solid tumors. The Series B proceeds will fund multiple expansion arms for eFT508 in solid tumors and lymphoma, as well as advancing the company's second program into the clinic.
"With the Series B capital eFFECTOR can proceed confidently to execute our clinical development strategy for eFT508," said Steve Worland, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of eFFECTOR. "Cancer is a difficult disease to treat because tumors are driven by multiple, often heterogeneous oncogenic pathways that support tumor cell survival and manipulate the tumor-stromal cell environment. eFFECTOR's approach selectively targets translation of key cancer drivers by acting at a point where multiple signaling pathways converge, providing an opportunity to simultaneously inhibit multiple oncogenes as well as limit a tumor's ability to control its microenvironment."
In conjunction with the financing, eFFECTOR has appointed Dave Maki, managing partner of Altitude Life Science Ventures, to its board of directors.
"Our aim is to seek out and foster the most cutting-edge science, bringing new visions for drug discovery and development into commercial realities," said Mr. Maki. "eFFECTOR's discovery that selective and safe targeting of translation for therapeutic intervention is possible presents a wholly new paradigm for cancer drug development."
eFT508 is a potent, highly selective, and orally bioavailable MNK1 and MNK2 inhibitor. MNK1 and MNK2 integrate signals from several oncogenic and immune signaling pathways by phosphorylating eIF4E and other key mRNA binding proteins that regulate the stability and translation of select mRNAs important for tumor growth and survival. eFT508 has demonstrated substantial activity in multiple preclinical human tumor models as a monotherapy and in combination with novel targeted agents as well as drugs that are components of standard of care regimens. eFFECTOR expects to report initiation of dosing in a Phase 1/2 trial of eFT508 in patients with advanced solid tumors shortly.
About eFFECTOR Therapeutics
eFFECTOR Therapeutics is pioneering the discovery and development of translation regulators as a new class of small molecule therapeutics for cancer. The company's investigational compounds are designed to restore translational control to halt underlying disease mechanisms while preserving healthy physiological processes. eFFECTOR's most advanced program focuses on the development of eFT508, a highly selective MNK1 and MNK2 inhibitor. MNK1 and 2 are kinases that act as signal integrators at the convergence of multiple oncogenic pathways to regulate production of disease-driving proteins. The company has additional translation regulation programs currently in discovery. eFFECTOR has raised $95M in financing from top-tier private and corporate venture funds. For more information visit www.effector.com
Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D.
SOURCE eFFECTOR Therapeutics