Experienced team focused on inhibiting inflammatory cell death underlying a range of severe inflammatory diseases
Cambridge, Mass., January 27, 2020 – Quench Bio, a company leveraging new insights into gasdermin biology and innate immunology to develop medicines for severe inflammatory diseases, today announced the completion of a $50 million Series A financing led by RA Capital Management (“RA Capital”), with participation from new Investor Abbvie Ventures. Atlas Venture (“Atlas”) and Arix Bioscience plc (“Arix”, LSE:ARIX) who co-founded and seeded the company, also participated in the Series A. Quench Bio has incubated at Atlas since inception.
Led by a team of drug developers and scientists with deep experience in inflammation and small molecule drug discovery, Quench Bio’s lead therapeutic approach centers on inhibiting Gasdermin D, which has been recently discovered as a key target at the core of multiple inflammatory cell death pathways, including pyroptosis and NETosis. When pyroptosis or NETosis pathways are activated, gasdermin is processed and forms lytic pores on the cell membrane, allowing release of inflammatory cytokines, alarmins, DNA and NETs. Pyroptosis and NETosis are associated with numerous inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), among others.
“Targeting gasdermin provides a unique therapeutic opportunity, as there are currently no marketed therapies inhibiting inflammatory cell death,” said Samantha Truex, CEO of Quench Bio. “Unlike approaches that target individual inflammasomes or cytokines, by targeting gasdermin, we aim to simultaneously inhibit multiple inflammatory cell death pathways that drive severe inflammatory diseases.”
“We are excited about Quench Bio’s first-in-class approach to potentially enable effective treatments for important autoimmune diseases with significant unmet medical need and we look forward to supporting this exceptional team as they pioneer modulation of gasdermin biology, an important and promising novel target in inflammation,” said Josh Resnick, M.D., Managing Director and co-head of Ventures at RA Capital, who will join the Quench Bio board as a new director alongside Adam Houghton, Head of AbbVie Ventures. Other board members include Samantha Truex as CEO, Bruce Booth of Atlas Venture, Jonathan Tobin of Arix Bioscience, Herbert Waldmann, Director at the Max Planck Institute and Jo Viney, President, CSO and Co-Founder of Pandion Therapeutics.
“Gasdermin inhibitors have the potential for impact across a broad range of indications, including severe inflammatory diseases with few current treatment options,” said Bruce Booth, DPhil, Quench Bio board chairman and partner at Atlas Venture. “Having assembled a world-class team of leaders in drug discovery, inflammation and gasdermin biology, as well as a renowned board and advisory team, Quench Bio is well-positioned to harness this potential to discover new medicines for these patients.”
Quench Bio was founded in 2018 by Atlas, Arix, Mark Tebbe, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, and Mike Nolan, Ph.D., Head of Biology, together with Arturo Zychlinsky and Herbert Waldmann, both Directors at The Max Planck Institute who collaborated with the Lead Discovery Center on inhibitors of NETosis and gasdermin.
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About Quench Bio
Quench Bio is a biotechnology company leveraging new insights into gasdermin biology and innate immunity to develop medicines for severe inflammatory diseases. Quench’s lead compounds target and inhibit the pore-forming protein Gasdermin D, a central player in both pyroptosis and NETosis pathways that mediates the release of inflammatory cytokines, alarmins, DNA and NETs. Quench Bio launched in January 2020 with $50 million from leading life science investors including Atlas Venture, Arix Bioscience, RA Capital and AbbVie Ventures. To learn more, visit please visit www.quenchbio.com.
About Atlas Venture
Atlas Venture is a leading biotech venture capital firm. With the goal of doing well by doing good, the company has been building breakthrough biotech startups for over 25 years. Atlas works side by side with exceptional scientists and entrepreneurs to translate high impact science into medicines for patients. Our seed-led venture creation strategy rigorously selects and focuses investment on the most compelling opportunities to build scalable businesses and realize value. For more information, please visit www.atlasventure.com.
About Arix Bioscience plc
Arix Bioscience plc is a global venture capital company focused on investing in and building breakthrough biotech companies around cutting edge advances in life sciences. Arix collaborates with exceptional entrepreneurs and provides the capital, expertise and global networks to help accelerate their ideas into important new treatments for patients. As a listed company, Arix is able to bring this exciting growth phase of our industry to a broader range of investors. For more information, please visit www.arixbioscience.com.
About RA Capital
RA Capital is a multi-stage investment manager dedicated to evidence-based investing in public and private healthcare and life science companies that are developing drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics. The flexibility of its strategy allows RA Capital to provide seed funding to startups and to lead private, IPO, and follow-on financings for its portfolio companies, both facilitating the crossover process and allowing management teams to drive value creation from inception through commercialization. For more information, please visit www.racap.com.
About AbbVie Ventures
AbbVie Ventures is the corporate venture capital group of AbbVie. We are a strategic investor, investing exclusively in novel, potentially transformational science aligned with AbbVie’s core R&D interests. We measure success primarily by the extent to which our investments foster innovation with potential to transform the lives of patients that AbbVie serves. AbbVie Ventures enables its portfolio companies with both funding as well as access to AbbVie’s internal network of experts across all phases of drug development, from drug discovery through commercialization. For more information, please visit www.abbvie.com/ventures.