Cambrian Bio
Biotech
New York, NY

Overall Rank: 73
Category: Biotechnology
Category Rank: 34

Awards:

  • Top HealthTech Company of 2023

Profile

Cambrian Bio, headquartered in New York, is a pioneering clinical-stage drug development company dedicated to creating medicines that have the potential to treat and prevent some of today’s most debilitating diseases. Cambrian advances multiple scientific breakthroughs, each targeting a mechanistic driver of aging, through its pipeline companies led by its R&D team in collaboration with dedicated experts. This model enables Cambrian to efficiently develop a wide range of new drugs and form partnerships across the healthcare and research ecosystem.


Since its establishment in 2019, Cambrian secured $160 million in funding, advancing from seed to Series C, and expanded its portfolio to encompass more than ten preclinical and clinical stage companies across the US, UK, and EMEA regions, including a publicly traded affiliate. Moreover, it has achieved significant progress in moving several programs towards their milestones in under two years.


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Key Products

Cambrian Bio hosts various brands in their portfolio. The key ones include: 


Amplifier Therapeutics


Amplifier Therapeutics takes center stage with their flagship product, ATX-304, a pan-AMPK activator. This innovative advancement holds the potential to transform patient lives by effectively activating AMPK, offering a revolutionary approach to preventing major chronic diseases. By targeting cardiometabolic and aging-related conditions, Amplifier™ aims to redefine therapeutic possibilities through ATX-304. This endeavor aligns with their commitment to harnessing the diverse therapeutic applications of AMPK activation for better health outcomes.


Isterian


A flagship product, holds the promise of reversing fibrosis and extending health-span. This groundbreaking solution targets pathological crosslinking through the inhibition of transglutaminase 2 (TG2), a pivotal enzyme in the crosslinking process. As a result, the accumulation of TG2 crosslinked proteins, often observed in aged fibrotic tissues like idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), is mitigated. Notably, Isterian’s development is powered by proprietary computer-aided drug design (CADD) models, ensuring the creation of potent and selective TG2 inhibitors. Rigorous testing, guided by a robust screening cascade, underscores the product’s potential to revolutionize fibrotic disease treatment.


Oviva Therapeutics


A pioneering venture  dedicated to revolutionizing women’s health with a unique focus on ovarian function and longevity. The company’s product aims to address the age-related decline in ovarian function, a pivotal factor influencing overall female health. Oviva’s innovative approach is grounded in rigorous evidence-based medicine, targeting the fundamental causes of ovarian aging to extend women’s healthspans. By developing novel therapeutics, they aspire to preserve ovarian function, elevate discussions on women’s health, and forge a coalition to drive this transformative vision forward.


Tornado Therapeutics


They are spearheading the development of a groundbreaking portfolio of next-generation rapalogs. Distinguishing themselves from conventional first-generation counterparts, their rapalogs are engineered for superior safety and efficacy. By precisely targeting mTOR within both TORC1 and TORC2 complexes, their portfolio presents a transformative approach. Moreover, their range encompasses potent inhibitors of TORC1 and TORC2, suggesting potential breakthroughs in autoimmune diseases and cancer treatment, underscoring Tornado’s pioneering contributions to the healthcare landscape.


Statistics


  • Founded: 2019

  • Headquarters: New York

  • Number of programs: 13


Cambrian BioPharma's Video


Key Executives

James Peyer, PhD., CEO


Dr. Peyer is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Cambrian Bio. He also holds multiple board and executive roles across Cambrian’s pipeline. James was previously Founder and Managing Partner at Apollo Ventures, and prior to that served as a biotech R&D specialist at McKinsey & Company. Throughout his life, he has remained dedicated to the mission of preventing diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, prioritizing proactive measures over a reactive approach to healthcare.


Juliette Han, PhD., CFO/COO


Dr. Han joined Cambrian in 2020, following executive positions at prestigious institutions such as Two Sigma Private Investments Group, Citadel Investments, and McKinsey & Company. Under her leadership, Cambrian has developed a robust growth and diversification strategy, establishing a successful and sustainable model for the company. This innovative resource and risk distribution approach has attracted investors to the healthspan field. Dr. Han is instrumental in expediting the identification of promising hypotheses to support early-stage innovation. In addition, she spearheads the provision of top-tier legal, financial, and operational support to entrepreneurs, enabling them to focus on their expertise and ideas. She is dedicated to nurturing next generation of leaders, writing for Forbes and CNBC, and serving as adjunct professor at Columbia Business School. 


Ruth Thieroff-Ekerdt, MD., EVP Clinical Development


Dr. Thieroff-Ekerdt joined Cambrian in 2022 with over 30 years of global experience in pharmaceutical and biotech organizations of varying sizes, encompassing all stages of discovery, development, and commercialization. She has authored 28 scientific articles and conference contributions and is inventor or co-inventor for 31 patents. Dr. Thieroff-Ekerdt is responsible for a diverse range of development activities, which includes overseeing the continuation and establishment of clinical development strategies. She effectively manages all aspects of the clinical development process at Cambrian.


Georg C. Terstappen, PhD., EVP, Drug Discovery


Georg joined Cambrian in 2020, bringing over 30 years of experience in prominent positions within big pharma and biotech. He has led EU R&D framework organizations as Vice-Chair of the Innovative Medicines Strategy group in the context of EFPIA and IMI. Georg’s significant contributions to the scientific community include 90 published scientific articles and a role as inventor/co-inventor of 15 patents. He was also adjunct professor/visiting scientist at several universities, including the University of Oxford, and leader of European-wide research programs funded by the EC. Additionally, he holds multiple board and executive positions across Cambrian’s pipeline.


Teri Champ, Esq., General Counsel


Teri became a part of the Cambrian team in 2021, having previously served as the General Counsel for CancerLinQ. Prior to that role, she held esteemed positions as Senior Counsel with various prestigious firms and organizations. Since joining Cambrian, Teri has dedicated herself to shaping a framework that propels the organization forward amidst its growth. Her contributions include the establishment of corporate governance best practices, the development of Cambrian’s policies and procedures database, and the implementation of a corporate code of ethics. Her dedication, however, extends beyond her professional responsibilities, as she has also mentored many, provided pro bono legal services with the AARP’s Legal Counsel for the Elderly, and served as a Girl Scout troop leader.


Mark Nuttall, PhD., EVP, Business Development


Mark joined Cambrian in 2021, bringing a wealth of experience in both biotech and pharmaceutical industries. Previously, he served as the Chief Business Officer for Kintai Therapeutics/Senda Biosciences, a Flagship Pioneering company, and Kymera Therapeutics (KYMR). Before his roles in biotech, Mark held increasingly senior positions in business development within several prominent pharmaceutical companies. During his tenure at Johnson & Johnson, Mark led neuroscience business development and was responsible for leading a team that transformed J&J’s CNS portfolio. His extensive experience and leadership have made him a valuable asset to Cambrian’s mission and growth.


Dennis Yamashita, PhD., EVP, Chemistry


Dennis, an exceptional drug hunter and medicinal chemist, joined Cambrian in 2020, bringing with him over 30 years of pharmaceutical and biotech drug discovery experience. Prior to his role at Cambrian, he held the position of VP of Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery and Chemistry leadership roles in various organizations. During his 20-year tenure at GSK, he spearheaded research collaborations with leading academic institutions and led internal drug discovery projects spanning oncology, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and immunology. Dennis is also actively involved in mentoring MIT postdoc scientists, volunteering at the MIT Sandbox, and serving in various board and executive capacities within Cambrian’s pipeline.


Organizational Insights

The company’s innovative recruiting model allows it to attract top talent and fresh ideas for both its central Cambrian team (TopCo) and its subsidiary companies (PipeCo’s). When Cambrian embarks on its talent search, the company is precise and confident in its criteria, enabling them to cast a wider net and discover truly exceptional individuals and concepts.


 In contrast to many industry players who primarily recruit from prestigious institutions with renowned programs, Cambrian expands its horizons. This approach is facilitated by their clear hypothesis and grounded in their belief that brilliance is not confined to circumstance. They firmly advocate for an inclusive approach, recognizing that limiting the talent pool can hinder progress within the industry. 


Cambrian’s strategic recruitment model, aligned with their commitment to hiring individuals characterized by principles and kindness, has laid a solid foundation for their relentless pursuit of transformative medicine. The company also provides abundant opportunities for career growth and success. Employees appreciate the matrixed organizational structure, which allows each person to take the lead in decision-making while still receiving support and guidance from their colleagues. This structure fosters a sense of empowerment and engagement among employees. 


 Furthermore, the company is steadfast in its commitment to promoting the health and well-being of everyone, ensuring that they have the necessary resources to find fulfillment in their lives. They offer a range of health benefits, including dental and vision care, along with remote flexibility, unlimited paid time off, and competitive compensation.  


Team members have consistently expressed deep appreciation for the hands-on, transparent leadership, the constant encouragement for personal and professional growth, and the exceptional culture where everyone not only feels included but also deeply valued.


Board Members


  • Christian Angermayer

  • Maryanna Saenko

  • Brenton L. Saunders

  • Paul Farr

  • R. Martin Chavez

  • Steve Jurvetson


Investors

Apeiron Investment Group


Apeiron Investment Group is the family office and private investment firm of entrepreneur and investor Christian Angermayer. With more than $2.5b under management and over 50 people across five international locations, Apeiron focuses on Life Sciences, FinTech & Crypto, FutureTech, and Experiences, Hospitality & Happiness. They have over 130 portfolio companies across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.


Future Ventures


Future Ventures focuses on seed and early-stage investments in trailblazing, purpose-driven entrepreneurs with unique ideas that have the potential to reinvent entire industries. As venture capitalists, the partners at Future Ventures have led founding investments in several companies that had successful IPOs and others that were billion-dollar acquisitions. Some of their early VC investments include Boring Company, Commonwealth Fusion, D-Wave, Planet, Skype, SpaceX, Tesla, and Upside Foods.


Anthos Capital


Anthos Capital, a Santa Monica based private equity firm, invests in emerging consumer and technology companies that drive innovation and shape the future. Anthos provides strategic and operational support to entrepreneurs, enabling its portfolio companies to achieve their full potential and become industry leaders.


Key Milestones


  • June 27, 2023: Cambrian Bio Launches Telos Biotech to Enable More Robust Cell Therapies

  • March 14, 2023: Cambrian Bio Unveils New Pipeline Company – Amplifier Therapeutics

  • January 12, 2023: Cambrian Bio Unveils New Pipeline Company – Isterian Biotech

  • May 19, 2022: Cambrian Bio PipeCo, Oviva, announces $11.5M in Seed Financing and Exclusive License with MGH

  • February 16, 2022: Cambrian Bio Announces Licensing Agreement to Develop Selective mTOR Inhibitors 


News and Press Releases


  • March 20, 2023: Cambrian Bio Appoints Health Policy Veteran Adrienne Hallett as Vice President of Global Policy & Initiatives (Read)

  • September 21, 2022: Cambrian Bio Appoints Ruth Thieroff-Ekerdt as Executive Vice President of Clinical Development (Read)

  • April 20, 2023: The “Stepping Stone” Approach To Getting Longevity Drugs To Market (Read)

  • November 4, 2022: James Peyer Named 2022 “BioTech Company CEO of the Year” By BioTech Breakthrough (Read)


Corporate Responsibility

Cambrian Bio is committed to creating a world where individuals can enjoy healthier lives for a longer period. Cambrian Bio embraces corporate responsibility which influences actions across all aspects of their organization.


In the realm of corporate governance and ethics, their dedicated legal team has diligently established best practices for corporate governance, meticulously curated a comprehensive policies and procedures database, and implemented a steadfast corporate code of ethics. These pillars serve as the bedrock of Cambrian’s operations, ensuring that they conduct business with the utmost integrity and adherence to ethical standards.


In their pursuit of transformative medicine, Cambrian Bio is fueled by a relentless drive for innovation and scientific breakthroughs. They encourage diverse perspectives, embrace new knowledge, and uphold rigorous decision-making standards for scientific progress.


Within their team, they empower one another to lead, fostering an environment of trust and excellence. Cambrian Bio supports team members through significant life events with paid family leave and adoption grants. They prioritize work-life balance through remote work flexibility and offer competitive salaries benchmarked against industry standards. Each team member is considered a long-term partner in the company’s success, with opportunities to have a stake in Cambrian Bio’s growth and development.


With a diverse global team, Cambrian Bio values differences, connecting through virtual and in-person gatherings, and actively supports each other in achieving common goals. They provide a wealth of resources and programs to support the physical and mental well-being of their employees, including health and wellness resources, diverse training opportunities, and robust work-life balance support.


In summary, the corporate responsibility initiatives at Cambrian Bio reflect their unwavering dedication to making a meaningful difference in the lives of their team members, in the pursuit of transformative medicine, and in the communities they serve.