Bicycle Therapeutics is pioneering a new class of therapeutics based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide (Bicycle) product platform, which has secured the Cambridge-based R&D-heavy business £40 million in funding from Atlas Venture, Cambridge Innovation Capital and Longwood Fund, among others.
Proceeds of the fundraising will be used to further the development of multiple drug candidates, including Bicycle Therapeutics’ lead molecule, BT1718, a first-in-class drug for cancers with high un-met need. As part of this financing, the company also announced the addition of Dr. Christopher Shen, M.D., managing director at Vertex Ventures HC, and Dr. Michael Anstey, D.Phil., investment director at CIC, to its board of directors.
Bicycle Therapeutics was co-founded by Professor Sir Gregory Winter, pioneer of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and a member of CIC’s Advisory Panel. His work created a step-change in the treatment of cancer and immune disorder and, as a result, many of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical drugs are based on the techniques he developed.
CIC’s Dr Michael Anstey says that Bicycles offer similar promise, “Bicycles are a new type of therapeutic that combine the best features of current approaches. They can penetrate tumours like small molecules, are specific like antibodies and are rapidly excreted like peptides, making them easy to administer and potentially avoiding the side-effects and limitations seen in the current treatments. The pre-clinical studies to date show Bicycles have an attractive profile. The next big step is to take this into humans and if they show the same characteristics this will be very exciting; offering a new choice of therapeutic,” he said.
“Bicycle Therapeutics is an ambitious company, with a world-class team, that has all the ingredients for another Cambridge success story.”
“This financing represents an important validation of our approach, while providing Bicycle Therapeutics 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 strong support from our investors as we move BT1718 rapidly towards the clinic and continue to advance our preclinical programmes, including toxin drug conjugates and immune modulators to treat cancer and other debilitating diseases.”
The Series B will also fund additional pipeline programmes through early clinical development, the first of which will be selected in the second half of 2017.
New investor Vertex Ventures HC led the 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.