G1 Lands $12.5M Series A Investment
|Christy Shaffer, Ph.D.|
G1 Therapeutics, a Chapel Hill company commercializing radiation-protection technology developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has raised $12.5 million in Series A funding.
The North Carolina Biotechnology Center helped lead the way to the funding by awarding G1 a $250,000 Strategic Growth Loan in 2012.
G1, founded in 2008 as G-Zero Therapeutics, is commercializing a novel method of preventing the blood-damaging effects of exposure to ionizing radiation and cancer chemotherapy.
In announcing the Series A funding today, G1 officials said the money enables it to advance its lead clinical candidate through the filing of an Investigational New Drug application (IND) and initial clinical testing.
The financing was led by MedImmune Ventures. Co-investors include Hatteras Venture Partners and Nashville-based Mountain Group Capital. Two MedImmune Ventures executives are taking seats on the G1 board of directors. They include Michael Gutch, Ph.D., managing director, and Ron Laufer, M.D., M.P.H., senior managing director.
Aiming for late-2014 human testing
G1 has conducted successful pre-clinical evaluations of its lead product candidate to protect cancer patients’ blood from chemotherapy damage. As a result, the company expects to file its IND by summer 2014 and initiate human testing before the end of 2014.
“G1 Therapeutics has made significant progress since Hatteras provided seed financing in September 2012 that enabled the company to select a lead molecule and complete the majority of pre-IND-required studies,” said Christy Shaffer, Ph.D., managing director of Hatteras Discovery who has also become executive chair of G1’s board of directors.
“We are excited to have MedImmune Ventures partner with Hatteras and G1 in order to accelerate the lead candidate toward clinical testing.”
Support has grown from loans, grants
Besides the NCBiotech loan and the venture funding, G1 has received support from UNC’s Kickstart program and several government grants, including a National Cancer Institute Fast Track Grant in 2012 for its lead potential indication.
Durham-based Hatteras Venture Partners invests seed and early stage money in biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics and related opportunities. Hatteras Discovery provides seed funding to facilitate company launches, particularly out of academia.
MedImmune Ventures, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a wholly owned global venture capital fund within the AstraZeneca Group. It invests in private companies developing therapeutics, pharmaceutical technologies and platforms, medical devices and diagnostics, and imaging and healthcare information technology. It manages $400 million in an evergreen fund and has invested in more than 30 companies since 2002.