BOSTON, Dec. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- IFM Therapeutics (IFM), a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies that modulate novel targets in the innate immune system, today announced the closing of a $55.5 million financing and the launch of its third subsidiary, IFM Quattro, as well as a new incubator, IFM Discovery, both of which will be supported by a portion of the new funds raised. IFM Quattro and IFM Discovery will focus on developing next-generation small molecule immunotherapies for inflammatory diseases and cancers. The financing was led by new investor Omega Funds, with participation from existing investors Atlas Venture and Abingworth. In conjunction with the financing, Paulina Hill of Omega Funds will join Jean-François Formela of Atlas Venture and Shelley Chu of Abingworth on the IFM Discovery and IFM Quattro Boards of Directors.
Under the terms of the financing agreement, IFM Discovery will work on a range of targets within the innate immune system. The first target-specific program to advance to early preclinical development will be housed in the IFM Quattro subsidiary. IFM Discovery will continue to focus on additional targets to support the launch of future IFM program-specific subsidiary companies, up to two of which will be funded by the financing announced today.
In addition, IFM announced the transition of Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Gary D. Glick, Ph.D., into the role of Executive Chairman of the Board. Effective today, IFM's Executive Vice President of Research and Development, H. Martin Seidel, Ph.D., has been named Chief Executive Officer and appointed to the Company's Board of Directors.
"The closing of IFM's new financing round and the establishment of IFM Quattro and IFM Discovery reflect our steadfast belief in the innate immune system as a prolific therapeutic target that offers numerous attractive drug discovery opportunities across therapeutic areas," said Dr. Gary D. Glick, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of IFM. "We are grateful for the support of both new and existing investors, which will enable our team to continue rapidly discovering small molecule therapies, while executing on our corporate strategy of housing each distinct program in a dedicated subsidiary."
Dr. Glick continued, "It has been an immense privilege to build and lead IFM since its founding. Having known and worked with Martin closely for many years and seen his contributions to IFM, I am confident that he is the right person to build on the culture we have established and lead the Company through its next stage of growth. Martin is an experienced leader, with the ability to define a development strategy for a portfolio that covers diverse therapeutic areas and leverage the various tools at his disposal to most efficiently advance each program forward. I look forward to working closely with him in my new role as Executive Chairman."
Dr. Seidel joined IFM full-time in 2017, as Executive Vice President of Research and Development after having served as a Board Observer since 2016. In this role, he has been responsible for developing, expanding and overseeing IFM's pipeline. Prior to joining IFM, Dr. Seidel served as the Global Head of Strategic Alliances for the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), where he led a team responsible for creating collaborations with external partners to help advance NIBR's mission. In that role, he and his team executed more than 70 deals, including in-licenses, out-licenses, collaborations, acquisitions and equity investments. Dr. Seidel first became involved with IFM as a Board Observer following Novartis' investment in IFM's Series A financing.
Prior to that, Dr. Seidel was the head of NIBR's Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, where he helped advance more than 40 clinical candidates, among them four FDA-approved drugs. He has served as a Board Observer with Luc/Cadent Therapeutics, Surface Oncology, Raze Therapeutics, Arcus Biosciences, Intellia Therapeutics and Caribou Biosciences. Dr. Seidel received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University and his A.B. in Chemistry from Princeton University. He also completed a one-year DAAD fellowship at the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
Dr. Seidel commented, "I am excited to become IFM's next CEO, and to work alongside Gary, the Board and our leadership team as we continue to execute on our mission of transforming immune regulation to improve the lives of patients with serious diseases. It has become increasingly clear that overactivity of the innate immune system underlies a host of serious inflammatory and autoimmune conditions and that, conversely, precise activation of innate immunity can jumpstart immune responses to cancer. As an industry, we've only begun to scratch the surface of attractive targets in the innate immune system, an area that IFM is particularly well positioned to exploit. Going forward, we will continue to prosecute these targets with rigor to develop novel compounds and launch dedicated, independently-financed subsidiaries for each program as we identify opportunities of interest."
Joining the IFM Quattro and IFM Discovery Boards of Directors will be Paulina Hill, Ph.D., of Omega Funds. "At Omega Funds, we seek to partner with exceptional management teams and work collaboratively with co-investors to bring promising therapies to patients with significant unmet medical needs," said Dr. Hill. "We feel we have found an optimal combination of all these factors in this partnership with the IFM Therapeutics team. We are thrilled to join the IFM Quattro and IFM Discovery boards, as we work together to advance our shared vision."
About IFM Therapeutics, LLC IFM Therapeutics (IFM) is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Company was founded by an international group of preeminent scientists and physicians following the sale of IFM Therapeutics, Inc. (originally founded by Gary D. Glick and Atlas Venture) to Bristol-Myers Squibb. IFM's team has discovered and developed small molecules that modulate novel targets in the innate immune system as next-generation therapies for cancer, auto-immunity, and inflammatory disorders. IFM places each program (or set of related programs) in its own dedicated, independently financed, R&D-focused subsidiary company, which is supported by the common infrastructure, management team and resources of the IFM enterprise. For more information on IFM and its model, please visit https://www.ifmthera.com.