Published On: Mon, Mar 22nd, 2021

Aura Biosciences raises $80m for VDC therapies for cancers

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Aura Biosciences, a portfolio company of -based Arix Bioscience, has raised $80 million in a new funding round for developing virus-like drug conjugate (VDC) for multiple oncology indications.

The funding round of the US-based clinical-stage oncology company was led by Matrix Capital Management and Surveyor Capital, a Citadel company. New investors such as Rock Springs Capital, Adage Capital Management, and took part in the financing round.

Existing investors – Medicxi, Advent Life Sciences, Arix Bioscience, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, Ysios Capital, Chiesi Ventures, and Columbus Venture Partners also took part in the funding.

Following the financing, Arix Bioscience, retains a 5.6% stake in the US oncology company.

Aura Biosciences plans to use the proceeds from the financing to push ahead with the clinical development of its VDC technology platform, which includes a phase 3 program for .

AU-011 is its lead candidate, which is being developed for the first line treatment of choroidal melanoma.

Aura Biosciences will also use the proceeds on its ongoing research for additional programs in ocular oncology, and also for expanding the VDC technology into bladder cancer.

Aura Biosciences raises $80m for VDC therapies for cancers

Aura Biosciences raises $80m for VDC therapies for cancers. Photo courtesy of Markus Winkler from Pixabay.

Elisabet de los Pinos – CEO of Aura Biosciences said: “Aura is pioneering the development of a new class of targeted therapies for life-threatening cancers with our novel VDC technology platform. This funding from a syndicate of distinguished investors enables us to advance AU-011 into a pivotal Phase 3 program for the first line treatment of choroidal melanoma, a rare, life- and vision-threatening form of cancer with no drugs approved.

“It also allows us to continue to expand the reach of our VDC technology in additional ocular oncology indications and in the treatment of solid tumors like bladder cancer where there is a high unmet medical need for better targeted therapies to treat early and reduce the incidence of metastasis.”

In connection with the funding round, Karan Takhar, who is Senior Managing Director of Matrix Capital Management, will join the Board of Directors of Aura Biosciences.

Karan Takhar said: “Matrix believes in the long-term potential of Aura’s VDC technology to further strengthen the Company’s position as a leader in ocular oncology and beyond within other types of cancers in need of better treatment options.

“We look forward to supporting Aura’s leadership team through this next stage of pipeline growth and transition into late-stage development with the commencement of the AU-011 pivotal program.”

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