Novellus, Ltd., an Israeli clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on precision oncology (treatment for cancer) raised $57 million in a Series C financing round. The round was led by Pontifax, and joined by OrbiMed Advisors, HBM Healthcare Investments, Wellington Management, Cormorant Asset Management, Novartis Venture Fund (NVF), SR One, as well as existing investors.
Proceeds from the new cash infusion will be used to fund the Novellus’ clinical development of PLX-8394 for patients with BRAF fusions and glioma patients with BRAF mutations. Whatever all that means, only a scientist knows. But it has something to do with treating cancer.
The BRAF protein is something in the body which is used by certain cancers to grow. Melanomas spread in some way by mutating this protein so a BRAF inhibitor can stop the spread of cancer. We think that’s what this means but if any doctors out there reading this understand the concept better then please let us know.
Novellus is a clinical-stage drug development company. Novellus focuses on the development of compounds for established oncogene drivers with a high incidence of uncharacterized mutations and develops highly selective medicines for functionally & genomically defined cancer patients.
“We believe PLX-8394 has the potential to address a major unmet need by targeting patient populations that are bereft of effective treatment options.” said Michael Vidne, Chief Executive Officer of Novellus. “The financing from this group of leading life science investors will enable us to realize the potential of PLX-8394 as a unique BRAF inhibitor.”
“We are pleased to partner with Novellus and support their important work in advancing groundbreaking drugs for hard-to-treat cancers. The company’s platform has the potential to support additional precision medicines for genetically defined subsets of cancer,” commented Ran Nussbaum, Managing Partner at Pontifax.