Acquisitions and Successful Financing Add to the Success of the Partners Innovation Fund

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The Partners Innovation Fund (PIF) continues to add to their success in moving therapeutic strategies developed within the Partners HealthCare System (PHS) further down the development pipeline.

Several recent deals and series A financing rounds support therapeutic strategies for cancer, fibrotic disease, rare endocrine and metabolic diseases and hypothyroidism, among others.

Established in 2008, PIF’s goal is to advance new science and technology based on Partners’ intellectual and financial capital. From the initial commitment of $35 million from Brigham Health (BH) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the fund has grown to $171 million through internal and external investment.


Merck Acquires Tilos Therapeutics

Merck recently acquired Tilos Therapeutics, a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing therapies targeting the latent transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) complex for the treatment of cancer, fibrosis and autoimmune diseases.

TGF-b is a potent cytokine that is secreted as a complex within the protein latency-associated peptide (LAP). Given its role in stem cell regulation and differentiation, TGF-b has been a key research target in cancer, autoimmune disease and infectious diseases.

Tilos was founded by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Partners HealthCare Innovation to advance discoveries by the laboratory of Howard Weiner, MD, at BH.

“This agreement with Merck, an industry leader in biopharmaceutical research and development, provides meaningful validation for our therapeutic approach and best positions our pipeline for broad clinical and commercial success,” says Barbara Fox, PhD, CEO of Tilos.


Alizé Pharma 3

Alizé Pharma 3, a company developing therapeutic peptides for rare endocrine and metabolic diseases, recently announced the completion of a $73.5 million series A financing round.

The new capital will be used to advance the company’s existing product portfolio and further strengthen it with selective acquisitions.

The company’s current portfolio includes AZP-3601, a parathyroid hormone uniquely designed for the treatment of hypothyroidism that was licensed from MGH through the Partners Innovation team.

According to the company, the unique pharmacological profile of AZP-3601 and its actions on calcium metabolism make it a potential best-in-class therapy.

With the additional funding, Alizé Pharma 3 will expand its team in Lyon, France and open a subsidiary in Boston to accelerate global drug development.


ZielBio Closes on $25.1 Series A Financing

ZielBio recently closed on $25.1 million series A financing to enable the development of the monoclonal antibody ZB131. The round was led by Morningside Venture Investments and PIF.

ZB131 is a humanized monoclonal antibody against cell surface plectin (CSP), a target highly expressed on the plasma membrane of multiple types of cancer cells, including ovarian, pancreatic, lung and colorectal cancer.

The funding will enable the company to conduct further research to prioritize potential cancer applications, validate additional targets and initiate a planned phase one clinical trial.

“We are excited to partner with Morningside and PIF, whose resources and drug development experience will greatly accelerate ZB131 development,” said Kimberly Kelly, PhD, Founder of ZielBio, who developed the technology while working at MGH.

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