Therachon, a Switzerland-based biotechnology developer focused on rare genetic conditions, closed a $60m series B round yesterday that included Inserm Transfert Initiative, the investment arm of research institute Inserm, and French government-owned investment bank Bpifrance.
Pharmaceutical company Novo Holdings led the round in which Pfizer Ventures, the corporate venturing subsidiary of drug developer Pfizer, also took part.
Additional investors included Cowen Healthcare Investments, Versant Ventures, OrbiMed and funds managed by Tekla Capital Management.
Founded in 2014, Therachon is working on treatments for rare diseases. Its lead candidate, TA-46, targets achondroplasia, a bone growth disorder that leads to disproportionate dwarfism.
TA-46 is currently undergoing a phase 1 clinical trial in healthy individuals. The drug, which is expected to be administered as a weekly subcutaneous therapy for children and adolescents, will also enter treatment studies in children affected with achondroplasia in 2019.
Therachon is based on research conducted by Elvire Gouze, a senior researcher at Inserm and University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
The series B funding will go towards additional resources for the phase 1 trial and help Therachon develop additional drug candidates. Jørgen Søberg Petersen, venture partner at Novo, and Timothy Anderson, director, Cowen, have joined the board of directors.
Therachon previously closed a $40m series A round in January 2017 after securing a $5m extension from Bpifrance. Inserm Transfert Initiative had contributed to a $35m first close in 2015 led by OrbiMed, with participation from New Enterprise Asscociates and Versant.