Artios Pharma Receives $84 million in Series B Funding

The DNA Damage Response (DDR) company is developing innovative treatments for cancer.

Lynpasza, the first poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor was developed by KuDOS (bought out by AstraZeneca) under the direction of Niall Martin and Graeme Smith. Commercialized by AstraZeneca and Merck, Lynparza turned out to be a blockbuster drug and the leader in a new class of PARP inhibitors. 

Martin and Smith went on to found the Cambridge, UK-based biotech Artios Pharma Limited, a company that is continuing their work on DNA Damage Response (DDR) and looking to develop even more advanced monotherapies. “The inhibition of novel DNA repair targets like Polθ, in tumours where DNA damage response factors have been lost or down regulated, will lead to cancer cells being selectively killed without harming normal cells. This creates an opportunity for such products to be used both in monotherapy and in combination with existing and future cancer therapies,” according to the company in a press release. 

Artios has continuously attracted significant attention from investors. Its $33-million launch round was in large part driven by Kate Bingham at SV Life Sciences and included Merck Ventures, Imperial Innovations, Arix Bioscience PLC, CRT Pioneer Fund (managed by Sixth Element Capital), and AbbVie Ventures.

Its latest round of financing is led by Raphael Wisniewski at Andera Partners, the Paris-based biotech investment group within the Edmond de Rothschild Group (formerly EdRIP) and Life Sciences Partners, and also includes new investors Pfizer Ventures and Novartis Venture Fund.

Artios will use the Series B backing to “advance its portfolio of first-in-class, small molecule DDR programmes including its lead programme targeting DNA polymerase theta (Polθ), through clinical proof of concept trials,” according to Wisniewski.


Emilie Branch

Emilie is responsible for strategic content development based on scientific areas of specialty for Nice Insight research articles and for assisting client content development across a range of industry channels. Prior to joining Nice Insight, Emilie worked at a strategy-based consulting firm focused on consumer ethnographic research. She also has experience as a contributing editor, and has worked as a freelance writer for a host of news and trends-related publications