Mission Therapeutics, a drug discovery and development company focused on selectively inhibiting deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs), has raised $15m in equity investment. The round was led by existing investor Pfizer Ventures, the venture capital arm of Pfizer.
The new capital will support the development of Mission's DUB platform, as well as growth of its pipeline of DUB inhibitor programmes.
Pfizer Ventures has been an investor in Mission Therapeutics since 2013. Today it made a further equity investment into the company, contributing a super pro-rata amount. All other existing investors within Mission joined the round on a pro-rata basis. No further financial details have been disclosed.
Mission and Pfizer have also expanded their relationship by entering into an evaluation and option agreement for DUB target validation.
Expansion of Pfizer collaboration
DUBs have attracted significant interest as potential drug targets. Playing an integral role in protein homeostasis, this large family of enzymes is involved in diverse cellular processes and many disease pathologies.
Under the terms of the evaluation and option agreement, Pfizer will access specific DUB inhibitors from Mission's platform and test these compounds in phenotypic screens to validate promising drug targets. Pfizer will then have the option to negotiate target exclusivity for each of the DUBs of interest.
The agreement does not include any of Mission's own lead DUB programmes, such as USP30.
Commenting on the agreement, Dr Denis Patrick, Managing Partner of Pfizer Ventures and Member of Mission's Board of Directors, said: "Since our initial investment in Mission seven years ago, the company has grown tremendously and the depth of its scientific expertise and capability has grown alongside it. We are proud to expand our relationship with the company and our scientists are looking forward to a successful collaboration in this important area of research."
Dr Anker Lundemose, CEO of Mission Therapeutics added: "We have benefitted from the valuable contributions of Dr Denis Patrick as a member of our Board of Directors and we look forward to working with the wider Pfizer team."