NEW YORK – Hexagon Bio said Monday that it has closed a $77.3 million Series B round of venture investment. Previous investors the Column Group, Two Sigma Ventures, 8VC, and Nextech participated, as did new investor Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) and several other unnamed financial backers.
The Menlo Park, California-based, metagenome-focused drug-discovery company also said that it has promoted Tara Arvedson to chief scientific officer and hired Victor Cee, former research project team leader for Lumakras (sotorasib) at Amgen, as senior VP for drug discovery. Arvedson had come to Hexagon Bio from Amgen a year ago.
Hexagon Bio said that it will apply some of the new funding to expand the capabilities of its computational platform, which combines machine learning, genomics, synthetic biology, and automation to identify therapeutic small molecules and their protein targets directly from microbial genomes. The firm also will seek to move its early oncology and infectious disease small-molecule research programs to the point where it can begin nominating development candidates.
"Multiple breakthroughs, from penicillin to statins to various oncology drugs, have resulted from microbial natural product drug discovery. However, the traditional 'brute force' drug-discovery process has limited the true potential of this space," Hexagon Bio Cofounder and CEO Maureen Hillenmeyer said in a statement. "We believe that genomics holds the key to treating many human diseases, and we are poised to use this knowledge to develop novel therapeutics. We bring together computation, biology, and chemistry in this space at a scale previously unexplored."