HiberCell, a biotechnology company developing therapeutics focused on preventing cancer relapse and metastasis, launched today with $60.75M in Series A funding led by ARCH Venture Partners. HiberCell is the first company exclusively focused on tumor dormancy detection and therapeutics.
Most patients who succumb to cancer do so because of metastatic cancer. Accumulated evidence has demonstrated that cancer recurrence is driven by dormant disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) that persist undetected in the body for prolonged periods of time. In approaching cancer as a systemic disease, the company seeks to detect and therapeutically target the 'Achilles heel' of patient DTCs to prevent or delay metastasis. The company is developing first-in-class therapeutics targeting DTCs originating from solid and liquid cancers.
"HiberCell is the foundational tumor dormancy company," said Alan Rigby, Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief scientific officer. "We know that dormant disseminated tumor cells are critical drivers of cancer metastasis. In translating this biology into the clinic, our work will be focused on further defining the characteristic genetics and transcriptomics of dormant disseminated tumor cells and charting a course to leverage our dormancy therapies to improve patient outcomes and survival. We believe that this approach provides a differentiated opportunity to change the paradigm of cancer treatment."
"We're launching HiberCell at an exciting time for cancer treatments," said Ari Nowacek, principal at ARCH Venture Partners. "Recent advances in cancer treatment that take advantage of a patient's immune system are providing prolonged survival advantages to patients, but cancer metastasis represents a significant unmet medical need across the cancer landscape."
In addition to backing from ARCH Venture Partners, investors include Hillhouse Capital, 6 Dimensions Capital, Celgene Corporation, the NYC Life Sciences Fund and undisclosed institutional investors, family offices and private individuals.