New York firm leads $40M Series A for Baltimore-based Dracen Pharmaceuticals - Technical.ly Baltimore

Business

Mar. 23, 2018 11:14 am

New York firm leads $40M Series A for Baltimore-based Dracen Pharmaceuticals

Deerfield Management Company invested $36 million in the Johns Hopkins spinout as part of the round.

Lab space at Johns Hopkins' FastForward 1812.

(Photo by Stephen Babcock)

A biotech company founded by Johns Hopkins researchers to develop new drugs to fight cancer said this week that it is raising $40 million in Series A funding.

The round for Dracen Pharmaceuticals was led by Deerfield Management Company, a New York–based firm which invested $36 million in the round.

The year-old company is building on discoveries by Johns Hopkins professors Barbara Slusher, Jonathan Powell and Rana Rais, as well as Pavel Majer of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in Prague.

The research has shown initial effectiveness of “immuno-metabolism.” According to the company, this involves fighting cancer on two fronts at the same time. One element is cancer metabolism, which seeks to stop the energy sources that keep tumors alive. The other is immunotherapy, which involves harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

The company is looking to develop a pipeline of drugs that build on this work, and also sees potential to extend to other types of diseases. The funding will help advance that work.

Deerfield’s engagement in our efforts helps bring us closer to an important potential step forward in the treatment of cancer,” Dracen CEO Thomas M. Etsok said in a statement.

It’s just the latest recent sign of interest in work at Johns Hopkins from healthcare-focused Deerfield. Separately, the firm is also backing a joint venture with Johns Hopkins for early stage therapeutic research called Bluefield Innovations. That fund has $65 million available for research work that shows promise toward being commercialized.

It’s one happening among the university’s wider effort to create more companies from research efforts that once again set the nationwide pace in spending.

Advertisement

Organizations: Johns Hopkins University
-30-
JOIN THE COMMUNITY, BECOME A MEMBER
Already a member? Sign in here

Advertisement

A pair of Baltimore biotech companies are getting $36M to create a new vaccine

The Stanley Black Decker Makerspace hosted Make48 last weekend

Loyola University Maryland launches Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

SPONSORED

Baltimore

Win up to $360,000 for your startup at the WeWork Creator Awards

Wawa (Media), PA

Wawa

Distinguished Engineer

Apply Now
Baltimore

FX Well

Software Developer

Apply Now
Baltimore

Terbium Labs

Account Executive

Apply Now

PGDx test gets ‘Breakthrough Device’ designation

With spatial audio, musicians play in 360 degrees of sound

A pair of Maryland VCs invested in the latest big coding school deal

SPONSORED

Baltimore

How Think|Stack and Year Up are cultivating local tech talent

Baltimore

Terbium Labs

Software Engineer

Apply Now
Baltimore

Terbium Labs

DevOps Engineer

Apply Now
Baltimore, MD

The Oxford Club

Junior Front End Developer

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!