Biotechnology company Septerna, which discovers and advances novel small molecule medicine targeting G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), has made public its official launch as well as a recently completed Series A totaling $100 million. The funding round, led by Third Rock Ventures, featured contributions from BVF Partners, Samsara BioCapital, Invus Financial Advisors, Catalio Capital Management, Logos Capital, and Casdin Capital.
The funds will help Septerna advance its pipeline of novel GPCR-targeted drug programs, which address numerous therapeutic areas with enablement through the Native Complex™ Platform. With Native Complex, GPCRs are recapitulated outside the cell with their native function, dynamics, and structure so that industrial-scale drug discovery is allowed through structure-based drug design in addition to novel screening technologies. The company will also leverage its newfound funds to further flesh out its industrialized platform in order to unlock additional drug discovery opportunities covering the entire GPCR superfamily.
The complicated nature of GPCRs render them difficult to isolate outside of the cell, as well as incompatible with current small-molecule drug discovery approaches. Robert Lefkowitz, MD, Co-Founder of Septerna, said, "Septerna’s truly innovative approach with the Native Complex™ ushers in a new era of drug discovery to reach previously undruggable GPCRs and enable all modern drug discovery technologies to be fully accessible for the GPCR target class." Lefkowitz was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for discovering the inner workings of GPCRs.