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.