Financing led by new investors, GV, Northpond Ventures and Sanofi Ventures, with existing investors, Syncona, Oxford Science Enterprises, and Oxford University also participating
Investment will advance OMass’s portfolio of novel drugs against highly-validated, yet intractable or inadequately drugged, membrane- and complex-bound proteins towards the clinic
OMass’s pipeline of small molecule therapeutics includes five programs in rare diseases and immunological conditions that target solute carriers, complex-bound proteins and GPCRs, all discovered using OMass’s proprietary OdyssION™ platform
Oxford, United Kingdom – 28 April 2022 – OMass Therapeutics (‘OMass’, or ‘the Company’), a biotechnology company that identifies medicines against highly validated target ecosystems, today announces its $100 million (£75.5 million) Series B financing round. The international syndicate of top-tier life science specialists was led by new investors, GV, Northpond Ventures and Sanofi Ventures, with existing investors, Syncona, Oxford Science Enterprises and Oxford University also participating.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance OMass’s portfolio towards clinical trials. This includes the development of an insurmountable antagonist of the MC2 receptor for congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a gasdermin D inhibitor for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, a GPR65 agonist for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease and two earlier-stage programs targeting solute carriers.
Ros Deegan, CEO of OMass, said: “The completion of this oversubscribed round with such high-calibre investors is recognition of the significance of our OdyssION™ platform and its potential to support the development of an exciting portfolio of novel drug candidates. We have already made significant progress against highly validated but previously ‘undruggable’ targets and can now accelerate them towards clinical development while continuing to expand our pipeline.”
Originally spun out of Oxford University, OMass has commercialised Professor Dame Carol Robinson’s breakthrough research in native mass spectrometry to develop its proprietary drug discovery platform, OdyssION™. The platform integrates novel biochemistry techniques, next-generation native mass spectrometry, and custom chemistry, to allow for the interrogation of protein interactions within its native ecosystem while avoiding the confounding complexity of the cell.
OMass’s OdyssION™ platform delivers several key benefits in the search for new drugs against previously intractable targets, including discovering drug binders with high sensitivity without filtering on activity, establishing an unambiguous link between binding and function to drive smart lead optimization, and identifying natural allosteric sites that can be targeted for drug discovery.
Following the financing, Scott Biller, Ph.D., Executive Venture Partner at GV, Diana Bernstein, Ph.D., Vice President at Northpond Ventures, and Laia Crespo, Ph.D., Partner at Sanofi Ventures, will join the OMass Board of Directors.
Scott Biller, Ph.D., Executive Venture Partner at GV, said: “By studying proteins in their native state as found within the cell, the OMass platform can address many important targets that have been elusive until now. Through this platform, OMass has created an impressive portfolio of therapeutic programs with the potential to dramatically improve the lives of patients.”
Diana Bernstein, Ph.D., Vice President at Northpond Ventures, said: “OMass is fundamentally shifting the process by which we identify and evaluate chemistry for the most challenging drug targets. Native mass spectrometry uniquely permits simultaneous evaluation of drug binding and functional effect, and OMass is a leader in this pursuit.”
Laia Crespo, Ph.D., Partner at Sanofi Ventures, said: “OMass’s vision and the potential of its platform aligns with the purpose of our fund. As a strategic venture investor, we support top tier life science entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and transformative new products and technologies of strategic interest to Sanofi. We partner with management to advance innovation that has the potential to deliver new approaches that can transform patients’ lives and we look forward to supporting OMass as it develops new drugs for the treatment of rare diseases and immunological conditions.”
Edward Hodgkin, Ph.D., Chair of OMass’s Board of Directors and Partner at Syncona added: “We are pleased with this financing round which will support OMass as it looks to progress its pipeline of small molecule drugs. The strength of this global group of top tier life science investors reflects confidence in the company’s technology and supports our ambition to build a sustainable therapeutics business that has the potential to develop novel drugs in areas of high unmet medical need. We are also delighted to welcome Scott Biller, Diana Bernstein and Laia Crespo to the OMass Board, all who have significant experience in transforming technology platforms into sustainable drug discovery and development businesses.”
For further information, please contact:
Consilium Strategic Communications
Rosamond Deegan, Chief Executive Officer
Phone: +44 (0) 1235 527589
Sue Charles / Chris Gardner / Kumail Waljee
Phone: +44 (0)20 3709 5700
About OMass Therapeutics
OMass Therapeutics is a biotechnology company discovering medicines against highly-validated target ecosystems, such as membrane proteins or intracellular complexes. The company’s unique OdyssION™ technology platform comprises novel biochemistry techniques, next-generation native mass spectrometry, and custom chemistry. This allows OMass to interrogate not just the target, but also the interaction of the target with its native ecosystem, separate from the confounding complexity of the cell. The result is cell-system fidelity with cell-free precision. OMass is advancing a pipeline of small molecule therapeutics in rare diseases and immunological conditions, therapeutics that target solute carriers, complex-bound proteins, and GPCRs.
Headquartered in Oxford, UK, OMass has raised over $150M (£119M) from a top-tier international investor syndicate, including Syncona, Oxford Science Enterprises, GV, Northpond Ventures, and Sanofi Ventures.
GV provides venture capital funding to bold new companies. Across the fields of life science, enterprise technology, consumer products and services, and frontier technology, GV's portfolio companies aim to improve lives and transform industries. GV's team of world-class engineers, designers, physicians, scientists, marketers, and investors work together to provide startups exceptional support.
Launched as Google Ventures in 2009, GV is the venture capital arm of Alphabet, Inc. GV helps startups interface with Google, providing unique access to the world’s best technology and talent.
GV has over $8 billion under management. Notable investment outcomes include Uber, Slack, One Medical Group, Nest, Flatiron Health, and Duo Security. GV is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in San Francisco, Boston, New York, and London.
Find out more: www.gv.com
About Northpond Ventures
Northpond Ventures is a multi-billion dollar science-driven venture capital firm based in Cambridge, MA; San Francisco, CA; and Bethesda, MD. Northpond has been named one of the three most active lead biotech investors in 2021 by Crunchbase, and the most active lead investor in life science solutions and molecular diagnostics by Silicon Valley Bank. It is particularly engaged in the research ecosystem, having founded a bioengineering laboratory at Harvard, and sponsored a prize for women entrepreneurs at MIT. It has led over 50 financings over the past several years, with a high percentage having an academic origin.
Learn more at www.npv.vc
About Sanofi Ventures
Sanofi Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of Sanofi. Sanofi Ventures invests in early-stage biotech and digital health companies with innovative ideas and transformative new products and technologies of strategic interest to Sanofi. Among these areas are oncology, immunology, rare diseases, vaccines, potential cures in other core areas of Sanofi’s business footprint, and digital health solutions.
Find out more: www.sanofiventures.com
Syncona's purpose is to invest to extend and enhance human life. We do this by founding and building companies to deliver transformational treatments to patients in areas of high unmet need.
Our strategy is to found, build and fund companies around exceptional science to create a diversified portfolio of 15-20 globally leading healthcare businesses for the benefit of all our stakeholders. We focus on developing treatments for patients by working in close partnership with world-class academic founders and management teams. Our balance sheet underpins our strategy enabling us to take a long-term view as we look to improve the lives of patients with no or poor treatment options, build sustainable life science companies and deliver strong risk-adjusted returns to shareholders.
Find out more: www.synconaltd.com
About Oxford Science Enterprises
Oxford Science Enterprises is a Science Business Builder, committed to helping solve the world’s toughest problems for more people, in more places, faster. The company does this by transforming world-leading science into world-changing businesses, partnering the best scientists from the world’s best university with the best business brains. Oxford Science Enterprises grows its companies with care and expertise, investing for real-world impact, not only financial returns, and re-investing proceeds back into the next generation of original research and world-changing businesses.
Since 2015, the company has received an automatic stake in all Oxford University science spinouts – and has taken a leading role in creating and building enterprises that address problems that affect people in life-changing ways: their health, the availability of food, the survival of the planet.
 using FX at signed term sheet phase