Pfizer Venture Investments and Lightstone Ventures join existing investor syndicate;
Company will enter clinical stage in 2015 with first ACC Inhibitor for NASH
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – March 18, 2015 – Nimbus Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on designing highly selective and potent medicines to disrupt known drivers of serious diseases, today announced the successful completion of an oversubscribed $43 million Series B financing led by Pfizer Venture Investments and Lightstone Ventures. All of the company’s Series A investors, including Atlas Venture, SR One, Lilly Ventures and Bill Gates, also participated in the Series B round. Coinciding with this announcement, the company recently changed its name from “Nimbus Discovery” to “Nimbus Therapeutics,” to signal its transition to a clinical stage company.
“Our ability to attract such a high-caliber cadre of new and existing investors reinforces our belief in the boundless potential of our novel computational technology-driven approach to drug discovery and development,” said Donald “Don” Nicholson, Ph.D., chief executive officer at Nimbus. “This financing round sets the foundational stage for several key inflection points for Nimbus in 2015 and beyond. Progressing the first of our pipeline of small molecules into the clinic, we hope to make substantial strides this year toward realizing our mission to turn historically difficult targets into medicines that matter for patients.”
Nimbus plans to use the funds from the Series B round to advance its lead program, an Acetyl CoA Carboxylase (ACC) inhibitor, into clinical development, representing the first allosteric and liver-targeted inhibitor intended for the treatment of Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis, or NASH, an increasingly common liver disease which is estimated to affect 16 million Americans.1 Nimbus plans to report Phase 1 data from this program later this year. Additionally, the company will continue to advance its preclinical programs of novel small molecules including those for IRAK4, Tyk2, KRas and other medically-important targets.
“It’s clear that Nimbus not only is employing a breakthrough technological approach for drug discovery and development, but also has the scientific expertise and management acumen to translate the company’s vision into reality,” said Chris Christoffersen, Ph.D., General Partner, Lightstone Ventures. “We look forward to supporting Nimbus in the critical years ahead as it advances its promising therapeutics for people impacted by NASH and a broad spectrum of diseases with high unmet needs, and expands its potential reach and impact through new collaborations and partnerships.”
Nimbus’ programs address well-validated biological mechanisms implicated in areas of metabolic disease, cancer and immune-inflammatory disorders, which have proven intractable by traditional drug discovery methods. Employing a novel approach to research and development, Nimbus deeply integrates computer-driven drug design, chemistry and pharmacology, working in close coordination with its co-founding partner, Schrödinger, and a highly integrated network of partners and collaborators. The company has demonstrated the ability to accelerate discovery, design and optimization of drug candidates and rapidly move investigational medicines into the clinic.
1Frontline Gastroenterol. 2014 Jul; 5(3): 211-218; Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2011 Aug; 34(3): 274-85; World J Transplant. 2014 Jun 24; 4(2): 81-92; Hematology. 2014 Dec 29
About ACC and NASH
Acetyl CoA Carboxylase (ACC), a master regulator of fatty acid synthesis and oxidation, has been a sought-after, yet intractable target over the past two decades. Successful inhibition of ACC may enable new strategies to reduce lipids, blood glucose, weight and cardiovascular risk. Nimbus is the first company to successfully design drug-quality allosteric inhibitors targeting ACC for the treatment of metabolic disease as well as cancer.
The company’s first indication for ACC-focused clinical development in metabolic disease is Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis, or NASH, a serious condition that can lead to liver cirrhosis, often leading to transplant, and other complications including hepatocellular carcinoma, a liver cancer with high mortality rates. Currently there are no therapies specifically approved to treat NASH. Other possible metabolic disease indications for ACC inhibition include type 2 diabetes and hypertriglyceridemia.
Nimbus Therapeutics harnesses the power of computational chemistry to design breakthroughs for the treatment of substantial and underserved human diseases. The company’s focus on metabolic diseases, cancer and immune-inflammatory disorders is driven by its selection of well validated targets that have proven intractable to the approaches taken by others in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Using its unique approach and technological capabilities, Nimbus is rapidly progressing highly selective and potent small molecules through discovery and development. The company’s advanced programs include ACC, IRAK4, and Tyk2. Nimbus is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts (USA). To learn more, please visit www.nimbustx.com.