BOSTON, Dec. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Odyssey Therapeutics, a biotechnology company pioneering next generation precision immunomodulators and oncology medicines, today announced the completion of an oversubscribed $218 million Series A financing led by OrbiMed Advisors and co-led by SR One Capital Management with participation from Foresite Capital, Woodline Partners LP, Logos Capital, HBM Healthcare Investments, Colt Ventures, Creacion Ventures, and other institutional investors. Carl L. Gordon, Ph.D., Managing Partner of OrbiMed Advisors, will join Odyssey's board of directors. The financing will be used to advance multiple pipeline programs and Odyssey's discovery platform aimed at expanding the druggable genome. Founded by Gary D. Glick, Ph.D., the company is led by a team of drug hunters and executives with an extraordinary track record of accomplishment in helping to bring more than 20 drugs to market.
Anti-inflammation immunotherapies, such as anti-TNF antibodies and JAK inhibitors, and newer oncology immunotherapies and targeted therapies have improved the standard of care for some patients. However, numerous challenges including limited efficacy, inherent or acquired drug resistance, and mechanism-based toxicity restrict broader patient care and limit their benefits.
Building on these past approaches, Odyssey has developed a strategy to create a portfolio of product candidates that will go beyond the limitations of current medicines and enhance the standard-of-care for patients living with inflammatory diseases and cancer. The company is focused on targets and mechanisms that control validated signaling nodes that drive disease, with the goal of creating medicines that achieve optimal product profiles for patients. In addition, Odyssey is applying its highly integrated drug hunting engine and class-leading computational and data sciences platform to challenging, high-value targets with the potential to revolutionize treatment paradigms, but for which traditional discovery approaches have not succeeded.
"A renaissance in medicinal chemistry, coupled with new drug discovery technologies and an expanded understanding of the drivers of immune dysfunction and cancer, has created an unprecedented opportunity to discover new drugs with much greater potential for patients," said Gary D. Glick, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Odyssey Therapeutics. "Odyssey has brought together the financing, technology, and a team with decades of success in drug discovery and development and is poised to capitalize on this opportunity and take precision therapies to the next level: providing patients with better medicines to improve their lives."
"Odyssey has assembled one of the strongest biotech teams I have seen," said Carl Gordon, Ph.D., CFA, OrbiMed Advisors. "Paired with its next-generation scientific approach, Odyssey is positioned to accelerate the discovery and development of transformative medicines to improve the lives of a broad range of patients living with inflammatory diseases and cancer."
Experienced leadership team with proven successes
Odyssey was founded by Dr. Glick and a group of world-renowned drug hunters and academic experts in immunology, cancer biology, synthetic and systems biology, and proteomics. With headquarters and labs in Boston, Odyssey is rapidly expanding with more than 90 scientists and staff.
Odyssey's founding team has collectively made a number of the most important discoveries in immunology and cancer biology over the last 15 years. These key scientific insights underpin the discovery and rationale of several marketed drugs and medicines in clinical testing. Odyssey is leveraging this in-house intellectual capital not only to select targets but also to determine the therapeutic modality that will have the greatest clinical impact. To transform scientific insights into medicines, Odyssey is organized in a bottom-up manner that cuts across traditional disciplines and maximizes speed, efficiency, and rigor across the organization.
The Odyssey senior scientific management team includes:
- Gary D. Glick, Ph.D., Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer
- Dr. Glick is a chemist and serial biotech entrepreneur with over 15 years' experience in the biotech industry. He has founded several successful companies, including IFM Therapeutics. While CEO of IFM, the company progressed three programs from ideation to clinical development and executed several major transactions, including the sale of oncology assets to Bristol-Myers Squibb in a transaction valued more than $2.3 billion and the sale of an NLRP3 inhibitor program to Novartis for $1.6 billion. Prior to Odyssey, in 2020, he co-founded and launched Scorpion Therapeutics. Dr. Glick played an instrumental role in the conception and building of the company, and during his tenure as Chief Executive Officer, Scorpion raised $270 million across two financings within nine months of the company's founding. Dr. Glick received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Columbia University and completed postdoctoral studies in Organic Chemistry at Harvard University.
- Robert Abraham, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Cancer Biology
- Dr. Abraham is a veteran leader in oncology research and development. Prior to Odyssey, Dr. Abraham served as Chief Scientific Officer at Vividion Therapeutics, which was acquired in August 2021 by Bayer for $2 billion. Previously, he held the position of Senior Vice President and Group Head of the Oncology R&D Group in Pfizer Worldwide Research, Development, and Medical. While at Pfizer, he helped launch 10 new oncology medicines, including XALKORI®, IBRANCE®, BESPONSA®, BOSULIF®, BAVENCIO®, MYLOTARG™, TALZENNA®, DAURISMO™, and LORBRENA®, benefiting hundreds of thousands of patients worldwide. Dr. Abraham received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Pittsburgh.
- Natalie Dales, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Chemistry and Drug Discovery
- Dr. Dales is an accomplished scientist with over 20 years' small molecule drug discovery experience leading and mentoring teams in pharmaceuticals and biotech. Prior to Odyssey, Dr. Dales was an Executive Director and the Head of Portfolio and Strategy for the Global Discovery Chemistry Group at Novartis. She was also a senior advisor for the Novartis Genesis Labs, an internal innovation incubator which fostered and funded disruptive concepts to accelerate drug discovery. Prior to Novartis, she worked on oncology, cardiovascular, and metabolism programs at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Dales received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin.
- Joseph McDonald, Ph.D., Chief Data Officer
- Dr. McDonald is a distinguished scientist and executive bringing more than 30 years' experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to Odyssey, Dr. McDonald served as Executive Director of Machine-Learning and Physics-Based Simulation at BMS and Celgene. In previous roles at Celgene, Avila Therapeutics, and Pfizer, he led increasing roles of responsibility in computational chemistry, patent science, and chemical sample management. Dr. McDonald is also a co-author and inventor of more than 140 papers and applications. Dr. McDonald received his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Roswell Park Memorial Institute and completed postdoctoral studies in Computational Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University.
- Shifeng Pan, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Head of Discovery
- Dr. Pan is a leading medicinal chemist with more than 20 years' experience. Prior to Odyssey, Dr. Pan served as the Executive Director of Discovery Chemistry at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), where he oversaw GNF's low molecular weight portfolio and all chemistry activities, including medicinal chemistry, chemical technologies, analytical chemistry, and DMPK. He led the discovery of ODOMZO®, BRAFTOVI®, and MAYZENT®, and is the recipient of numerous awards for his accomplishments. Dr. Pan received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from New York University and completed postdoctoral studies in Organic Chemistry at GNF.
- David L. Pompliano, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer
- Dr. Pompliano is a drug discovery scientist, entrepreneur, and executive with more than 30 years' experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Before joining Odyssey, Dr. Pompliano co-founded and served as the Chief Scientific Officer of Revolution Medicines and Lodo Therapeutics, and served as the CEO of BioLeap. Prior to the biotech industry, he served as Worldwide Basic Head of Infectious Diseases at Merck and Vice President of Biology at GlaxoSmithKline, where he led drug discovery teams that produced pre-clinical credentials for more than 30 development candidates and five registered anti-infective and oncology drugs. Dr. Pompliano received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University and completed postdoctoral studies in Enzymology and Molecular Biology at Harvard University.
- Stephen Soisson, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Structural Biology and Protein Therapeutics
- Dr. Soisson is a leading structural biologist with more than 20 years' drug discovery experience. Prior to Odyssey, Dr. Soisson served as the Executive Director and Global Head of Structural Chemistry and Structural Protein Sciences at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) where he architected and oversaw Merck's network-wide efforts to structurally enable all programs with three-dimensional molecular structures. During his tenure, the structure group contributed to the discovery of virtually all clinical candidates at MRL, including KEYTRUDA®, BELSOMRA®, and ISENTRESS®. Dr. Soisson received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and completed post-doctoral studies as a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research fellow at Rockefeller University.
Odyssey's board of directors includes:
- Gary D. Glick, Ph.D., President and CEO, Odyssey Therapeutics
- Carl L. Gordon, Ph.D., CFA, Managing Partner, OrbiMed Advisors
- Jill Carroll, Partner, SR One Capital Management
- Charles Baum, M.D., Ph.D., President, Founder, and Head of R&D, Mirati Therapeutics
- Valerie Odegard, Ph.D., President and CSO, Silverback Therapeutics
About Odyssey Therapeutics
Odyssey Therapeutics is a biotechnology company pioneering the efficient development of next generation immunomodulators and oncology medicines. Comprised of an expert team of drug hunters and executives, Odyssey is making a transformational impact on the field of drug discovery and is accelerating the path to clinical development to drive the creation of more effective precision medicines. For more information, please visit www.odysseytx.com.
About OrbiMed Advisors
OrbiMed Advisors is a leading healthcare investment firm, with approximately $18 billion in assets under management. OrbiMed invests globally across the healthcare industry through a range of private equity funds, public equity funds, and royalty/credit funds. OrbiMed's team of over 100 professionals is based in New York City, San Francisco, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Herzliya, and other key global markets.
SOURCE Odyssey Therapeutics