Temasek-backed Vertex Ventures leads $51m Series B in UK’s Bicycle Therapeutics

UK-based biotechnology venture Bicycle Therapeutics has closed a £40 million ($51.4 million) Series B financing round led by Vertex Ventures HC.

New investors who participated in the round include Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) and Longwood Fund while existing investors Novartis Venture Fund, SROne, SVLS and Atlas Venture also joined the financing.

Vertex Ventures HC is part of a global venture fund network under Vertex Venture Holdings, a member of Temasek Holdings. It invests across all sectors of the healthcare industry including medical devices, biopharma, diagnostics, health IT, and services.

Proceeds will be used to further the development of multiple drug candidates, including Bicycle’s lead molecule, BT1718, a drug for cancers of high unmet needs. The firm is developing a new class of therapeutics based on its proprietary bicyclic peptide product platform,

Bicycle peptides can combine properties of several therapeutic entities in a single modality.

Bicycle’s lead molecule, BT1718, is the first example of its Bicycle Drug Conjugate (BDC) technology, in which toxic chemical payloads are targeted specifically to malignant tumours, minimising systemic exposure through renal clearance. BT1718 targets Membrane Type 1 Matrix Metalloproteinase (MT1-MTP), which is highly expressed in many solid tumours, including triple negative breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

Dr. Christopher Shen, M.D., Managing Director at Vertex Ventures HC, and Dr. Michael Anstey, D.Phil., Investment Director at CIC, will be joining the board of directors.

Dr Shen said, “Bicycle Therapeutics has a highly innovative platform with the potential to transform the course of treatment for patients suffering from a range of diseases, including difficult-to-treat cancers.”

It is expected to enter the clinic in 2017 in partnership with Cancer Research UK (CRUK). The Series B will also fund additional pipeline programs through early clinical development, the first of which will be selected in the second half of 2017.

“This financing represents an important validation of our approach while providing Bicycle with the resources for continuing to advance our pipeline and translate our bicyclic peptide technology into important new treatment options for patients,” said Dr. Kevin Lee, Ph.D., chief executive of Bicycle Therapeutics.

Also Read:

Orbimed Asia leads $19m round in Chinese biotech startup InventisBio

Taiwan is one of the leaders in biotech listings: Aslan Pharma CEO

S Korea to launch $100m fund for biotech startups

China investors are hungry for US biotech and not worried about Trump

Israel’s Yozma Group to invest $41.4m in Korean biotech startups

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.

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.