Company is developing bespoke radiopharmaceuticals with capital efficient and rapid approach
Proceeds to support progression of five candidates into the clinic, expansion of early-stage programs, accelerated growth of team, and completion of purpose-built research facilities
BOSTON, Mass. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, December 14, 2022 – Alpha-9 Theranostics Inc., a clinical stage company developing differentiated and highly targeted radiopharmaceuticals with the potential to meaningfully improve the treatment of people living with cancer, today announced an oversubscribed $75 million Series B financing. The round was led by Nextech Invest, with participation from Frazier Life Sciences, Samsara BioCapital and Quark Venture in addition to existing investors Longitude Capital and BVF Partners.
Alpha-9 is engineering highly effective, bespoke radiopharmaceuticals for the treatment of solid and hematologic malignancies. These molecules are optimized to selectively deliver radiation to tumor sites while minimizing off-target effects. The Series B funding will support advancement of the company’s five programs into the clinic over the next two years while expanding its early-stage programs.
“We have always believed in the company, its founders, and the potential for radiotherapies to effectively address a wide range of cancers,” said David Hirsch, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Alpha-9. “Our team has done excellent work progressing our pipeline of novel radiopharmaceuticals over the last year, and we are excited to have the support of these top-tier investors. With this new investor partnership, we are well positioned to progress multiple targets into the clinic, harnessing the potential of radiopharmaceuticals to realize more effective treatments for people living with cancer.”
Alpha-9’s systematic approach to radiotherapeutic design is fueled by a toolbox of technologies and chemistries, which offers broad potential for expansion into a multitude of oncology targets. Leveraging its founders’ deep expertise in the modification of peptides and small molecules, Alpha-9 tailors each component of its radiopharmaceuticals – binder, linker, chelator and radioisotope – to improve the molecule’s overall performance. The company’s development process includes human imaging and dosimetry studies, which provide early feedback on molecule design. This approach is capital efficient and rapid, resulting in de-risked compounds prior to later-stage clinical evaluation.
“The radiopharmaceutical field has evolved over the past several years, attributable to scientific advances, translational data and strong clinical efficacy,” said Melissa McCracken, Ph.D., Partner at Nextech Invest and Alpha-9 Board member. “This new generation of radiopharmaceuticals shows improved tumor uptake with limited off-target exposure, resulting in drugs that have better safety and efficacy profiles in the clinic. We are excited by the progress Alpha-9 has demonstrated and are proud to support expansion of its programs and facilities.”
In addition to advancing the clinical pipeline, the Series B will enable Alpha-9 to grow its team to support discovery programs. Furthermore, the company will complete the build-out of its research facilities in Vancouver, BC, which will house the chemistry, biology, translational research and radiochemistry teams, as well as support product formulation. Alpha-9 has also invested in radioisotope supply through agreements with multiple lutetium and actinium partners. The company looks forward to expanding these relationships with the Series B proceeds.
The company, headquartered in both Boston and Vancouver, was founded in 2019 by François Bénard, M.D., Kuo-Shyan Lin, Ph.D., and David Perrin, Ph.D., leading researchers from BC Cancer and the University of British Columbia with deep expertise in the modification of peptides and small-molecules to create novel radiopharmaceuticals.
Melissa McCracken, Ph.D., Partner at Nextech Invest, Patrick Heron, M.B.A., Managing Partner at Frazier Life Sciences, Cory Freedland, Ph.D., Partner at Samsara BioCapital, and Matthew Young, M.B.A., Managing Director at Longitude Capital will join the Alpha-9 Board of Directors, along with Darcy Mootz, Ph.D., Site Head at Amunix, a Sanofi Company (Chief Business Officer prior to sale), who will join as a Board advisor.
About Alpha-9 Theranostics
Alpha-9 Theranostics is a clinical stage, radiopharmaceutical company developing differentiated and highly targeted radiopharmaceuticals with the potential to meaningfully improve the treatment of people living with cancer. Applying proprietary technologies and deep-foundational expertise, Alpha-9 is on the forefront of engineering bespoke radiopharmaceuticals that are optimized to selectively deliver radiation to tumor sites while minimizing off-target effects. Alpha-9 is advancing a robust pipeline of novel radiopharmaceuticals with a systematic approach to molecule design that offers broad potential for expansion into several validated oncology targets. Alpha-9 was founded by researchers from the University of British Columbia and BC Cancer, with the goal of improving the lives of patients affected by metastatic cancers. For more information, please visit www.alpha9tx.com.
Joan Bosisio, Verge Scientific Communications