Financing led by Mirae Asset Capital Life Science with participation from additional new and existing investors
Funds will support advancement of lead programs through early clinical development, including Accent’s first-in-class DHX9 inhibitor and newly unveiled, potentially best-in-class KIF18A inhibitor
LEXINGTON, Mass., Jan. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Accent Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering a new class of small molecule precision cancer therapies, today announced the completion of a $75 million Series C financing. The financing was led by Mirae Asset Capital Life Science, with participation from other new investors, Mirae Asset Capital, Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Bristol Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., as well as all existing investors, including The Column Group, Atlas Venture, Droia Ventures, GV, EcoR1 Capital, AbbVie Ventures, The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research, Timefolio Capital (formerly known as NS Investment) and others. In conjunction with the financing, Naveen Krishnan, MD, MPhil, Managing Director of Mirae Asset Capital Life Science will join the Company’s Board of Directors.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to support the advancement of both lead programs –Accent’s first-in-class DHX9 inhibitor and a potentially best-in-class KIF18A inhibitor – through early clinical development including safety, pharmacokinetics and early efficacy studies.
“We are delighted to announce the backing of an exceptional investor syndicate who share our commitment to advancing innovative therapies for patients with cancer,” said Shakti Narayan, PhD, JD, CEO of Accent Therapeutics. “These additional resources position us well to file INDs this year for both our DHX9 and KIF18A programs, and to rapidly progress them through early clinical development.”
Accent is developing therapeutics for both novel and known, but suboptimally-addressed, high-impact oncology targets with the potential to benefit large patient populations. The company’s DHX9 inhibitor seeks to address indications with high unmet need, including BRCA loss of function cancers (breast, ovarian), mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) or microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) cancers (colorectal, endometrial, gastric) and additional undisclosed cancer types. Accent’s second lead program, a KIF18A inhibitor, could also potentially benefit a large patient population across several cancer indications with high unmet need, including ovarian cancer and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).
“Accent’s focus on targeting cancer cell vulnerabilities in a specific and robust way really stood out as we were evaluating companies for our first investment,” remarked Naveen Krishnan, MD, MPhil, of Mirae Asset Capital Life Science. “They have assembled an incredible team with a successful track record of drug development, and we are excited to partner with the other seasoned investors to support Accent at this pivotal time.”
Accent’s lead program is a first-in-class DHX9 inhibitor with the potential to address high unmet need indications not adequately served by existing therapies, including tumors with BRCA loss of function (breast, ovarian), mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) or microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) cancers (colorectal, endometrial, gastric) and additional undisclosed cancer types representing large patient populations. DHX9 is a DNA/RNA helicase that has been reported to play important roles in replication, transcription, translation, RNA splicing, RNA processing, and maintenance of genomic stability. Hence, this enzyme represents a compelling novel oncology target as inhibition of DHX9 exploits key tumor vulnerabilities, resulting in cancer-specific death. Accent is currently conducting IND-enabling studies evaluating its DHX9 inhibitor.
Accent’s second lead program is a potential best-in-class inhibitor for KIF18A which may address a large patient population across several cancer indications, including ovarian and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). KIF18A is a mitotic kinesin motor protein critical for cell division in select tumors with chromosomal instability. A subset of tumor cells with an abnormal number of chromosomes (aneuploid) are sensitive to KIF18A and show rapid cell killing in vitro and in vivo upon KIF18A inhibitor treatment, while cells with normal numbers of chromosomes (euploid) are unaffected. Accent is planning to initiate IND-enabling studies for KIF18A in the first half of 2024.
About Accent Therapeutics
Accent Therapeutics is pioneering a new class of small molecule precision cancer therapies targeting critical intracellular dependencies that span multiple types of cancer. Building upon industry-leading expertise in RNA-modifying proteins (RMPs) and the systematic mapping of both the RMP space and adjacent high-value areas for drug discovery, the company is building a flexible model that allows for a diversity of approaches to developing potentially transformative biomarker-driven cancer medicines. Accent’s therapies are designed for both novel and known, but suboptimally-addressed, high-impact oncology targets with the potential to benefit large patient populations with significant unmet need. For more information on Accent’s mission to translate extraordinary science into life-changing therapeutics for patients living with cancer, visit www.accenttx.com or follow us on LinkedIn.
About Mirae Asset Capital Life Science
Mirae Asset Capital Life Science is the first and only U.S. affiliate of Mirae Asset Financial Group dedicated to life science investment. We invest in companies prioritizing the delivery of safe and effective treatments for patients who need them most and believe that superior returns will follow. Our strategy is rooted in core principles that include delivering near-term value, calculated risk, finding innovative yet validated modalities, and rigorous evaluation using our unique backgrounds across biomedical research, drug discovery, company building, clinical/medical training, and venture capital investing. For more information, please visit us at www.lifesci.miraeasset.com, or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.