Dren Bio announced the closing of a $60 million Series A investment round. The round was led by SR One and Taiho Ventures, LLC, with participation from existing investors 8VC and Mission BioCapital and new investors including BVF Partners L.P., HBM Healthcare Investments, and Alexandria Venture Investments. The funds will be utilized to advance the company’s two lead programs, DR-01 and DR-02, through early clinical development.
DR-01 utilizes antibody-mediated killing of a cell type involved in leukemia, lymphomas and autoimmune diseases. The company is initially focusing on neglected hematologic oncology indications for which there are no approved therapies. DR-01 development will eventually expand into defined subsets of autoimmune diseases.
DR-02 is an enhanced antibody-based platform for depletion of cells and disease-inducing agents through a novel mechanism of action. This proprietary monotherapy works through multiple modes of action, including direct depletion, immune stimulation, target engagement and antigen presentation. DR-02 has potential applications in solid tumors, hematologic neoplasms, infectious diseases and protein aggregate diseases.
Lewis Lanier, PhD, Chair of Dren’s Scientific Advisory Board, said, “Dren’s therapies are exciting because they offer novel strategeies to meet an unmet need in treatment of lymphomas and leukemias and to potentially enhance the potency of T cells in cancer immunotherapy.” Dr. Lanier is the Chair of Microbiology and Immunology and the J. Michael Bishop MD Distinguished Professor at UCSF.
“We are impressed by Dren’s progress since the company’s inception in 2019,” commented Rajeev Dadoo, Partner at SR One. “The DR-01 program has a clear development path to the clinic, focusing on diseases with no approved therapies.”
“In oncology, the DR-02 platform could enable direct and selective depletion of cancer cells accompanied by localized immune stimulation,” said Sakae Asanuma, President at Taiho Ventures. “The technology is also demonstrating the potential to eliminate agents in diverse diseases, including infections and protein aggregation. We are proud to recognize Dren’s potential at an early stage and support its success.”