Melbourne, Australia and London UK, 28 September 2022 –Brandon Capital, Australasia’s leading life science venture capital firm, is pleased to announce its leading role in the USD68m series A financing of Pheon Therapeutics (Pheon), that has emerged from stealth today.
The Pheon financing reflects Brandon Capital’s ongoing growth and signals its goal to become an active international investor including in the UK and European markets. Jonathan Tobin, Partner and head of Brandon Capital’s London office, takes on the role of Chairman of Pheon’s board of directors. Other leading life sciences investors Forbion and Atlas Venture co-led the round, with participation from seed investor Research Corporation Technologies (RCT).
This new investment, Brandon’s largest into a European based company to date, will enable Pheon to advance its lead ADC program to clinical proof-of-concept and establish a pipeline of novel ADCs.
Pheon is an emerging UK-based Antibody-Drug Conjugate (ADC) specialist developing next generation ADCs for a wide range of hard-to-treat cancers. It has recently signed a collaboration with an Australian research member of the Brandon Capital managed Brandon BioCatalyst – a unique network of over 50 leading medical research institutes.
The Company’s lead program exploits a novel target that is highly expressed in a broad range of solid tumors. The lead compound is expected to reach IND within the next 18 months. Using both novel and clinically validated monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and arming them either with warheads from its proprietary payload platform which boasts a novel mechanism of action, or with off-the-shelf linker payload combinations, Pheon is finely attuned to balancing safety and efficacy for each target.
A highly experienced and successful early-stage venture investor, Brandon Capital is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, and has already established an international presence, including in the USA. It has backed some 60 innovative life sciences companies over the past 15 years with its growing European portfolio currently including UK-based early-stage companies Myricx Pharma, led by Brandon Capital UK Venture Partners Dr Roberto Solari and Dr Robin Carr, and Pathios Therapeutics, co-founded by Brandon Capital UK Venture Partner Dr Tom McCarthy. It was natural to choose the UK as the launch pad for its European expansion, opening a London office in Kings Cross a year ago. With Venture Partners also based in the US, Brandon has a team of 20 including Investing and Venture Partners located across the world’s largest biotech and pharmaceutical markets.
Jonathan Tobin, Partner at Brandon Capital and Chair of Pheon, said: “Our philosophy as an investor is to support entrepreneurs to bring the most promising medical research breakthroughs into medical therapies that save lives and improve quality of life. We have a strong reputation for helping to grow a high-value, sustainable biotech industry in Australia & New Zealand delivering jobs, wealth and improving patient outcomes. We look forward to bringing these benefits to Europe, where we believe there is a wealth of innovation.
“Pheon is a typical example of the opportunities we seek to fund. In the last few years ADC drugs have started to show unprecedented clinical efficacy through a better understanding of the properties that make an effective ADC, combined with next generation payloads and targets. We are excited by the potential of Pheon’s first-in-class antibody target and novel payload technology to make significant contributions to the ADC field and cancer patients.
“Pheon has attracted a strong syndicate of which we are proud to be a part and has built a proven leadership team focused on rapidly bringing its first-in-class ADC to the clinic. We look forward to extending the benefit of these cutting-edge therapeutics to more patients through target and payload innovation at Pheon.”
Chief Executive Officer Bertrand Damour heads Pheon’s leadership team which includes industry veteran Leigh Zawel as Chief Scientific Officer. The Company’s co-founders include Paul Jackson, Vice President R&D, and advisor Professor David Thurston. Professor Thurston was previously co-Founder of Spirogen, whose payload technology is contained within ZynlontaTM, a recently approved ADC.
Chief Executive Officer of Pheon Bertrand Damour said: “We are delighted to welcome Brandon Capital, alongside Forbion, Atlas Venture and RCT as a truly international syndicate to fund Pheon to develop first-in-class ADC and our highly differentiated proprietary payload technology platform which is gaining strong momentum. We are laser focused on implementing our strategy to get our first program into clinical development as rapidly as possible, and the preclinical data generated so far are very promising. The track record and expertise of the leadership team at Pheon is outstanding, and I am proud to be working with them and our investors on this innovative approach to developing treatments for cancer patients.”
For further information, please contact:
Brandon Capital (media enquiries)
Sue Charles, Charles Consultants
Tel : +44 (0)7968 726585
Ciara Byrne, Mana Communications
Tel: +61 (0)41 3519 430
Notes to Editors
About Brandon Capital
Brandon Capital is Australasia’s leading life science venture capital firm, with a strong global presence supported by key partnerships and team members across the US and UK. From early-stage seed investment through to expansion capital, Brandon Capital supports life science companies from proof-of-concept through to commercialisation.
Managed by Brandon Capital, Brandon Biocatalyst is a unique collaboration of over 50 leading medical research institutes, investors, and government united by a single purpose: progressing the next generation of medical therapies and technology which improve health and save lives.
For more information, please visit www.brandoncapital.vc
About Pheon Therapeutics
Pheon Therapeutics is an Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) specialist developing a pipeline of monotherapies for novel targets and/or with novel payloads. ADCs offer the potential to treat solid tumors and liquid cancers that have not responded to other treatments. Pheon’s lead program is a first-in-class ADC against a novel target that is highly expressed in solid tumors across a broad range of hard-to-treat cancer types. Pheon is backed by expert, specialist healthcare investors Atlas Venture, Brandon Capital, Forbion and Research Corporation Technologies (RCT). Pheon has a world class, proven leadership team that brings together the best of ADC engineering, clinical and managerial expertise and track record.
For further information, please visit www.pheontx.com