Kronos Bio Completes $105M Series A Financing; Undruggable Cancer Targets

  • Series A Round Led by Vida Ventures and Omega Funds

  • Company Platform Using Small Molecule Microarray (SMM) Technology has the Potential to Unlock Historically Undruggable Targets

San Mateo, CA. and Cambridge, Mass., July 18, 2019 - Kronos Bio, Inc. (Kronos), a Two River portfolio company, today announced it has closed a $105 million Series A Preferred Stock financing. The financing was led by Vida Ventures, LLC and Omega Funds and included participation from Nextech, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Perceptive Advisors, Invus and Polaris Partners. This Series A round also included significant participation from Kronos' President and Chief Executive Officer, Norbert Bischofberger, Ph.D. as well as members of the Board of Directors including Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS and John Martin, Ph.D. In conjunction with this financing, Jakob Loven, Ph.D., Partner at Nextech, will join the Board of Directors of Kronos Bio.

Kronos' Small Molecule Microarray platform (SMM) was built on more than a decade of research by its scientific founder, Angela Koehler, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  SMM is ideally suited for the rapid discovery of novel modulators or degraders of historically undruggable targets, such as transcription factors. Kronos has demonstrated SMM's potential to identify compounds that bind to target proteins directly or interfere at nanomolar potency with protein activity. SMM enables discovery of hits that act through a variety of mechanisms, including disruption of protein-protein or protein-DNA interactions, or indirect modulation of target protein activity by binding to co-factors or other protein complex members.

"We are excited to have the continued support of high caliber investors who recognize the potential of Kronos' technology and its team. This financing will help us advance two preclinical programs built upon hits identified from SMM screens, accelerate our research, and further expand the Kronos team in the Boston and San Francisco areas," said Norbert Bischofberger, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Kronos. "We seek to challenge the historic belief that certain targets cannot be pursued. Our goal is to unlock new therapeutic approaches and bring treatments to areas with high unmet need."

Existing therapies target only a minority of the body's proteins, which are well-structured and accessible to traditional small molecule approaches.  The majority of proteins, however, are disordered or lack obvious binding pockets and have historically been considered undruggable.  Kronos' platform enables high-throughput screens of chemical libraries against such target proteins in a more physiologically relevant context to identify biologically active small molecules. 

"When we founded Kronos at Two River, we identified early on the need for support by investors who embrace cutting edge innovation," said Joshua Kazam, a Kronos Board Member and a Director at Vida Ventures. "With this Series A round, we have expanded support with investors equally as passionate about funding scientific breakthroughs to impact how we treat some of the most challenging diseases we face today."

"Since our initial investment, we have been very excited about the opportunity to identify novel therapies provided by the Kronos platform: we believe this is a huge opportunity not just for investors but more importantly, for addressing unmet needs in hard-to-treat diseases," said Otello Stampacchia, Ph.D., a Kronos Board Member and Founder and Managing Director of Omega Funds. "We are delighted to co-lead this milestone Series A financing and to be a part of the Kronos Bio team in this journey."

About Kronos Bio

Kronos Bio, Inc. is dedicated to the discovery and development of first-in-class therapies that modulate historically undruggable targets. We leverage deep capabilities in high-throughput small molecule microarrays, targeted protein degradation, and cancer biology in order to identify potent and selective compounds against transcription factors and other central drivers of oncogenic signaling.

For more information, please visit www.kronosbio.com or follow the company on LinkedIn.

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