A new startup has officially emerged from stealth with the raise of its $62 million Series A funding round. Endeavor BioMedicines is led by co-founder and CEO John Hood, who previously led Impact Biomedicines, and its new funding comes from Omega Funds and Longitude Capital, as well as the company's own management team. Endeavor is also co-founded by Miguel de los Rios, who serves as its chief science officer and who was previously CEO of Rift Biotherapeutics.
Endeavor's goal is to develop treatments specifically to address pulmonary disease, and the startup is putting its funding toward two phase 2 clinical trials that will seek to determine whether their therapeutic candidate can reverse or slow the progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a very common type of pulmonary fibrosis that results in long tissue scarring that causes difficulty in breathing for affected patients.
IPF has a significant and worrying fatality rate — the condition comes with "an estimated mean survival of 2-5 years from time of diagnosis," according to Hood in a press release. Endeavor's new treatment candidate, called "taladegib," is an inhibitor that addresses what's known as the "hedgehog" pathway for IPF. This pathway, which is primarily responsible for cell differentiation during embryonic development, can also play a role in development of harmful conditions in adults when they malfunction while regulating the regeneration of mature tissues.
Hood's last company Impact Biomedicines exited in a sale to Celgene Corp worth up to $7 billion, depending on performance milestones set in the terms of the acquisition for passing certain regulatory and sales conditions. That company focused on treatment development specifically for myelofibrosis, a type of blood cancer, using an inhibitor for a specific type of protein kinase.