STORM Therapeutics announces closing of USD $30M Series B financing
- Published date:
- December 14 2022
Our startup portfolio company Storm Therapeutics is a biotechnology company creating novel therapies that inhibit RNA modifying enzymes for use in oncology and other diseases. Founded in 2015, it is translating the ground-breaking research of Professors Tony Kouzarides and Eric Miska in RNA epigenetics at the University of Cambridge supported by Cancer Research UK.
- Proceeds will advance STORM’s potential first-in-class clinical program targeting METTL3 for treatment of solid tumors and leukemias
- Financing will further expand STORM’s novel discovery platform to create additional products targeting RNA modification
14 December 2022, Cambridge, UK: STORM Therapeutics Ltd. (STORM), the clinical biotechnology company discovering and developing novel small molecule therapies targeting RNA modifying enzymes (RMEs) for oncology and other diseases, today announced the successful completion of a USD $30 million Series B financing round.
The financing was co-led by existing investors M Ventures, Pfizer Ventures, Taiho Ventures LLC, Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) and new investors Fast Track Initiative (FTI) and the UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd. (UTokyo IPC). Existing investors, Seroba Life Sciences and IP Group plc also participated in the round.
Dr Jerry McMahon, CEO of STORM Therapeutics, said: “STORM has had a milestone year of growth and development, bringing its potential first-in-class candidate STC-15, which targets the RNA methyltransferase, METTL3, into the clinic and establishing STORM as a pioneer in this novel enzyme class. The proceeds from the financing will support the ongoing multiple-ascending dose trial of STC-15 and further facilitate STORM as we advance our pipeline of innovative products targeting RNA modifying enzymes for oncology, inflammation, CNS, and viral diseases. I am delighted to welcome FTI and UTokyo IPC to the Company and I would like to thank our existing investors for their continued dedication and support. I look forward to a transformative 2023 as we continue to advance our clinical program and build our innovative pipeline.”
Hakan Goker, Managing Director of M Ventures, and STORM board director, commented on behalf of the investor syndicate: “We welcome the new investors to the STORM syndicate. Since its inception, STORM has systematically executed on its milestones and successfully delivered a first-in-class program into the clinic. We are proud to continue supporting the Company and its highly experienced team as they achieve clinical data and further grow their RNA modulation discovery platform. At the forefront of RNA modification, we believe STORM is well positioned to become a global leader in the field of RME, creating novel therapies for use in oncology and other diseases.”
A Phase 1 clinical study of STORM’s potential first-in-class candidate STC-15, an orally-bioavailable, highly selective METTL3 inhibitor, commenced treatment of cancer patients with solid tumors in November 2022. Details of the study can be found on clinicaltrials.gov under the identifier NCT05584111. Initial results from the Phase 1 study are anticipated to be presented in 2023. STC-15 triggers both direct cytotoxic and immune response based efficacy mechanisms in solid tumor and leukemia models. STORM recently presented preclinical data at the 34th EORTC-NCI-AACR and SITC meetings in November 2022, demonstrating blockade of METTL3 and effects on the innate immune response. These results supported a successful IND filing and the initiation of a Phase 1 clinical study for the potential treatment of patients living with cancer with solid tumors.
About STORM Therapeutics
STORM Therapeutics (STORM) is a clinical biotechnology company creating novel therapies that inhibit RNA modifying enzymes (RME) for use in oncology and other diseases. There are more than 150 RNA modifications reported and approximately 300 RNA modifying enzymes which represent novel therapeutic targets.
STORM has leveraged its first-mover advantage to establish a novel drug discovery and RNA analytics platform leading to the identification of novel targets and a proprietary pipeline of first-in-class smallmolecule drug candidates for potential use in oncology, inflammation, viral infection and CNS diseases.
The pipeline is exemplified by STORM’s METTL3 inhibitor, STC-15 which has received IND approval and commenced its Phase 1 clinical study in cancer patients in November 2022. STC-15 represents the first ever RNA modifying enzyme inhibitor to enter clinical evaluation in humans. Additional programs are planned for advancement into IND-track activities in 2023.
STORM investors include M Ventures (the corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany), Pfizer Ventures, Taiho Ventures LLC, Cambridge Innovation Capital I Limited, Seroba Life Sciences, IP Group plc, Fast Track Initiative (FTI), and the UTokyo Innovation Platform Co., Ltd. (UTokyo IPC).
For more information, please visit www.stormtherapeutics.com
STORM’s lead clinical program STC-15 is a potential first-in-class inhibitor of RNA modification and is the first ever RNA methyltransferase inhibitor to enter clinical development in. STC-15 is an oral small molecule that inhibits METTL3 which is an RNA methyltransferase implicated in oncology and other diseases. Certain RNA methyltransferases are important regulators of RNA sensing and innate immune activation and represent novel immune-regulatory targets.
STC-15 has also been shown to inhibit tumor growth through mechanisms involving anti-cancer immune responses such as changes in interferon signaling and synergy with T cell checkpoint blockade. In addition, STC-15 has shown efficacy in leukemia models via mechanisms such inhibition of leukemia stem cell function.
STC-15 commenced the dosing of the first patient in a Phase 1 clinical study in patients living with cancer with solid tumors in November 2022 and anticipates presenting results from its study in 2023.
About Fast Track Initiative
Fast Track Initiative is a biotech-focused venture capital firm that has offices in Tokyo and Boston. We find out, invest, and grow transformative early-stage companies across healthcare sectors. Over 15 years of investment experience, we have managed a total of $100M and grown 20+ innovative companies.
For further information, please visit www.fti-jp.com/en/
About UTokyo IPC
Established in 2016, UTokyo IPC is the venture investment arm of the University of Tokyo, a worldleading research institution that has its main campus in Tokyo, Japan.
UTokyo IPC has invested in more than 50 university-driven tech startups across all stages, via the mutually complementary IPC 1 Fund and AOI 1 Fund.
UTokyo IPC team members passionately support promising entrepreneurs at every step in the process of starting a new business. The “1stRound” incubation program provides intensive hands-on
assistance and financial support to entrepreneurs, through collaboration with 8 national universities and 19 corporate partners in Japan.
To further develop and accelerate the innovation ecosystem around UTokyo, UTokyo IPC will generate, boost and invest in start-ups that use academic and research results through cooperation with venture capital firms and companies promoting open innovation.
For more information, please visit: https://www.utokyo-ipc.co.jp