SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, September 5, 2023 – Star Therapeutics, a biotechnology company interrogating novel biology to develop life-changing therapies, today announced the closing of an oversubscribed $90 million Series C financing to continue growth of its first-in-class antibody therapies and portfolio companies. The financing was led by Sofinnova Investments, and included new investors Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Catalio Capital Management, Agent Capital, Soleus Capital, and NYBC Ventures, as well as participation by all existing investors including Westlake Village BioPartners, OrbiMed, Redmile Group, RA Capital Management, New Leaf Venture Partners, Cormorant Asset Management, and Cowen Healthcare Investments. Including this Series C round, Star Therapeutics has raised over $190 million since inception to create numerous portfolio companies.
Proceeds from the financing will support clinical advancement of VGA039, a first-in-class antibody currently being evaluated in a Phase 1a/1b study for von Willebrand disease. This novel therapy is being developed by Vega Therapeutics, a Star portfolio company focused on underserved blood disorders. Proceeds will also be used to continue Star’s approach as an innovation engine to generate additional biotech companies focused on discovering and advancing novel antibody therapies, each targeting multiple diseases.
“Our outstanding syndicate of seasoned life sciences investors is ideally suited to support our growth and mission to develop life-changing therapies for as many patients as possible, building on our success to date with novel therapeutic approaches in hematology and immunology,” said Adam Rosenthal, PhD, CEO and Founder of Star Therapeutics and CEO and Co-Founder of Vega Therapeutics. “To date, we have unveiled two biotech companies that have rapidly advanced antibodies from idea stage to the clinic, and we aim to replicate this success with additional biotech companies in the Star portfolio.”
Concurrent with this financing, the Board will consist of Beth Seidenberg, MD, Founding Managing Director at Westlake Village BioPartners; Carl Gordon, PhD, Managing Partner at OrbiMed; Amrit Nagpal, Managing Director at Redmile Group, Maha Katabi, PhD, General Partner at Sofinnova Investments; Nancy Stagliano, PhD, Executive Board Chair; and Adam Rosenthal, PhD, CEO and Founder of Star. Star’s Board observers include Vijay Lathi, Founding Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners and Matt Hammond, PhD, Principal at RA Capital Management.
“We are very excited about the opportunities on the horizon for Star and extremely confident in the Star team, which has demonstrated the ability to generate impactful medicines and advance them rapidly and efficiently into the clinic,” said Maha Katabi, PhD, General Partner at Sofinnova Investments. “VGA039 is a prime example of a novel antibody therapy with the potential to address significant unmet needs and transform treatment for patients. We look forward to supporting Star as it continues to be an innovation engine for transformative therapies.”
About Vega Therapeutics
Vega Therapeutics is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel, first-in-class therapies for rare blood disorders with overlooked patient needs, starting with VWD. The company’s lead product candidate, VGA039, is the first purpose-built antibody therapy for VWD with a novel mechanism of action targeting Protein S. By attenuating Protein S co-factor function for tissue factor pathway inhibitor α (TFPIα) and activated protein C (aPC), VGA039 augments and restores thrombin generation during both initiation and propagation of coagulation, addressing a fundamental mechanism of clot formation in VWD. VGA039 has potential to be a universal hemostatic therapy that can treat various bleeding disorders. For more information, please visit www.vega therapeutics.com and follow us on LinkedIn.
Kathryn Morris, The Yates Network LLC