Saturday, October 15, 2022
Matchpoint Therapeutics, a biotechnology company founded to leverage the power of covalency for the discovery of precision small molecule medicines, launched today with $100 million in financing. Matchpoint’s funding includes a recently closed $70 million Series A financing led by Sanofi Ventures and joined by Vertex Ventures HC, Digitalis Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, other new investors, and all existing investors. The Series A follows a $30 million seed financing round co-led by Atlas Venture and Access Biotechnology in November 2021. The financing will be used to support further advancement of the company’s proprietary platform and its discovery pipeline of novel covalent molecules, initially focused on immunology.
“We created Matchpoint to harness the powerful properties of covalency and enable the targeting of disease-causing proteins otherwise unamenable to small molecule intervention,” said Andre Turenne, President and Chief Executive Officer of Matchpoint. “We believe the immunology space is greatly underserved by current small molecule therapies and are excited by the potential of our proprietary platform to deliver highly specific covalent medicines for several of its most important and difficult targets.”
The durable target engagement achieved with covalent chemistry imparts improved potency, greater selectivity, and lower systemic exposure than otherwise possible. Matchpoint is pursuing genetically or clinically validated targets for which covalent chemistry is the only or best modality for therapeutic intervention.
Matchpoint's Advanced Covalent Exploration (ACE) platform brings together a suite of proprietary tools to revolutionize the discovery and development of covalent medicines:
“Our platform maximizes the potential for detecting novel covalent labelers of active sites, allosteric sites, and cryptic sites on targets that have historically proved elusive to drug. It also enables a thorough assessment of a molecule’s selectivity profile early in the discovery process,” said Nathanael Gray, PhD, Matchpoint co-founder and Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology at Stanford University. “The range of applications of this platform is very exciting given that it is as well suited for the discovery of covalent inhibitors as it is for covalent degraders and covalent molecular glues.”
“Much of the proteome that could be targeted by covalent drugs has to date remained invisible to standard chemoproteomics methods. Our platform, combining proprietary chemoproteomics approaches and artificial intelligence, is overcoming this limitation and the word-class team assembled at Matchpoint is uniquely positioned to translate these advances into the next generation of precision covalent medicines,” said Edward Chouchani, PhD, Matchpoint co-founder and Associate Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
In addition to Drs. Gray and Chouchani, Matchpoint’s founders include Dr. Jianwei Che from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Dr. Tinghu Zhang from Stanford University. In connection with the financing, Jason Hafler, PhD, Managing Director of Sanofi Ventures, joins Mr. Turenne, Daniel Becker, MD, PhD, Managing Director at Access Biotechnology, and Bruce Booth, DPhil, Partner at Atlas Venture, on the company’s Board of Directors.
"The field of covalent medicine saw a resurgence some 15 years ago that led to several important new medicines, most of which were for oncology indications," said Bruce Booth, DPhil, Chair of Matchpoint’s Board of Directors. “With the latest advances in chemoproteomics, computational sciences, and synthetic chemistry, we now have the opportunity to transform the treatment of autoimmune diseases and other chronic diseases with precision covalent small molecules. We are delighted to welcome Sanofi Ventures and our additional new investors to this pursuit as we continue to build Matchpoint into the leader in covalent medicines.”