The investment will be used to develop bone marrow therapy.
Imago BioSciences, which is based in San Francisco, is developing drugs designed to manage proliferative diseases involving bone marrow, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome, polycythemia vera, myelofibrosis and essential thrombocythemia. These diseases lead to rampant bone marrow cell growth as a result of undesired genetic mutations.
The term Imago is intended to reflect the final and fully developed stage of an insect after its metamorphosis, similar to the goal of the company, which is to transform diseases by translating scientific theory into new treatments.
Imago initially raised 26.5 million in a Clarus Ventures–led Series A funding round approximately 4.5 years ago. Recently, it successfully attracted an additional $40 million in a follow-up funding round led by Omega Funds that also included Frazier Healthcare Partners, Amgen Ventures, MRL Ventures Fund, HighLight Capital, Pharmaron and Greenspring Associates
The money will be used to further develop its lead candidate IMG-7289, a compound designed to inhibit LSD1, an enzyme regulating cytokine expression that is considered crucial for sustaining self-renewal in cancer stem/progenitor cells, particularly neoplastic bone marrow cells. In 2018, IMG-7289 was investigated in a phase 1 AML/MDS study and it is currently being evaluated in a phase II study in myelofibrosis. The next step is to complete phase IIb trials.