Wellesley, Mass., Jan. 27, 2021 – Auron Therapeutics (“Auron”), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing differentiation therapies for treating cancer, today announced the completion of its $12.75 million seed financing round. Proceeds will be used to discover and develop novel therapeutics directed toward differentiation therapy, which reactivates endogenous cellular programs to elicit tumor cell maturation and differentiation.
The round was led by Polaris Partners, Arkin Bio Ventures and Qiming Venture Partners USA with additional support from Eli Lilly and Company, BrightEdge (the investment arm of the American Cancer Society), Casdin Capital and Franklin Berger. Joining Auron’s chief executive officer, Kate Yen, Ph.D., on the Company’s Board of Directors are Isaac Ciechanover, M.D., of Polaris Partners as chairman, Alon Lazarus, Ph.D., of Arkin Bio Ventures and Anna French, Ph.D., of Qiming Venture Partners USA. Brad Robling of Lilly joins as a board observer.
Auron was founded by Dr. Yen, Matt Vander Heiden, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Dept. of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and associate director of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Ross Levine, M.D., member of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program and an attending physician on the Leukemia Service, Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) and Eytan Stein, M.D., assistant professor on the Leukemia Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and director of the Program for Drug Development in Leukemia.
“Despite great strides in treating cancer, current treatments, which primarily depend on killing tumor cells, do not lead to cures and can often involve challenging side effects,” said Dr. Yen. “Our approach is different and involves transforming malignant cells into a more normal state rather than killing them. Capital from this seed financing will enable us to advance a lead candidate toward advanced preclinical development and also provide us the opportunity to identify new disease targets to investigate.”
Dr. Ciechanover added, “We are excited to back Dr. Yen and her team to develop this important
new class of therapies. Auron’s multi-omic translational platform is designed to identify promising therapeutic targets, agents, and candidate biomarkers, which should expedite clinical trial enrollment and reduce the cost of drug development. We view Auron as an excellent fit in our oncology investment portfolio and look forward to working with the management team to advance programs toward clinical development.”
About Auron Therapeutics.
Auron Therapeutics aims to cure cancer by radically changing the paradigm of cancer therapeutics from cell killing to transformation of malignant cells into more normal functioning cells. This transformation, called differentiation therapy, reactivates endogenous cellular programs to elicit tumor cell maturation and reprogram cancer tissue to a more normal phenotype. Please find more information at www.aurontx.com.
Kate Yen, Ph.D.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
We have fostered a culture that encourages our team to be curious, to think strategically and creatively, and to push the limits of science. We honor diversity and individuality, and are united by a single commitment to serve the patients and families who need new treatments.
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