Cambridge life sciences firm Bicycle Therapeutics raises £40m

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01/06/2017

Cancer drug firm Bicycle Therapeutics has raised £40m to help develop drug candidates to treat cancer.

New investor Vertex Ventures HC led the Series B financing round with participation by additional new investors Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) and Longwood Fund. Bicycle’s existing investors – Novartis Venture Fund, SROne, SVLS and Atlas Venture also participated.

“Bicycle Therapeutics has a highly innovative platform with the potential to transform the course of treatment for patients suffering from a range of diseases, including difficult-to-treat cancers,” said Dr Christopher Shen from Vertex Ventures HC.

“We are delighted to lead this financing and to support Bicycle’s seasoned management team to realize the promise of this new class of therapies."

The latest venture from therapeutic antibody pioneer Professor Sir Greg Winter, Bicycle Therapeutics is developing novel medicines based on its Bicycle product platform. Bicycles can combine properties of several therapeutic entities in a single modality: exhibiting the affinity and selective pharmacology associated with antibodies; the distribution kinetics of small molecules, allowing rapid tumour penetration; and the “tuneable” pharmacokinetic half-life and renal clearance of peptides.

Bicycle’s lead molecule, BT1718, is the first example of its Bicycle Drug Conjugate (BDC) technology, in which toxic chemical payloads are targeted specifically to malignant tumours, minimising systemic toxin exposure through renal clearance. It targets Membrane Type 1 Matrix Metalloproteinase (MT1-MTP), which is commonly found in many solid tumours, including triple negative breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. It is expected to enter the clinic in 2017 in partnership with Cancer Research UK (CRUK). The Series B will also fund additional pipeline programs through early clinical development, the first of which will be selected in the second half of 2017.

“This financing represents an important validation of our approach, while providing Bicycle with the resources to continue to advance our pipeline and translate our bicyclic peptide technology into important new treatment options for patients,” said Dr Kevin Lee, Bicycle Therapeutics CEO.

“We are grateful for the continued strong support from our investors as we move BT1718 rapidly toward the clinic and continue to advance our preclinical programs, including toxin drug conjugates and immune modulators to treat cancer and other debilitating diseases.”


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