Vertex Ventures joins $47.6m Series A round in US-based Palleon Pharma

Vertex Ventures. Photographer: Sam Kang Li/Bloomberg

Temasek’s venture capital arm Vertex Ventures has participated in a $47.6 million Series A financing round in Palleon Pharmaceuticals, a US-based biotechnology firm that focuses on developing glycoimmune checkpoint inhibitors to treat cancer.

This round was also backed by several biotech venture capital firms including SR One, Pfizer Ventures, Takeda Ventures, and AbbVie Ventures, according to the company’s announcement on Wednesday.

According to the announcement, it will use the Series A funding to establish and advance a first-in-class pipeline of drug candidates targeting Glycoimmune Checkpoints – receptors on immune cells that normally distinguish “self” versus “non-self” but get exploited in cancer to create immunosuppression that allows tumours to thrive.

“The most meaningful breakthroughs often occur at the intersection of diverse and seemingly unrelated scientific disciplines,” said Palleon founder and CEO Jim Broderick. “Palleon was spawned by bringing together new findings in glycoscience and human immunology, which resulted in unexpected implications for oncology. The convergence of these two fields has enabled us to develop a novel class of medicines that could have a significant impact on the lives of cancer patients.”

Palleon was originally incubated in the Cambridge offices of GSK’s venture arm SR One, where Broderick served as the firm’s first Entrepreneur-in-Residence, working closely with SR One president Jens Eckstein. He has also been involved in biotech startups including his role as chairman and co-founder at Ra Pharmaceuticals.

The company was co-founded by Carolyn Bertozzi, professor of chemistry at Stanford University and an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Insitute, and Paul Crocker, professor of glycoimmunology and head of the Division of Cell Signalling and Immunology at University of Dundee.

The company also has exclusive licenses to the intellectual property of discoveries made by Bertozzi and Crocker.

Also read:

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Singapore: Temasek leads $25m investment in Israel’s Integra Holdings

India: Synup raises $6m from Vertex Ventures to fund expansion plans

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.