Indi Molecular Raises $11.5M Series A to Accelerate PCC Platform Development
CULVER CITY, CA – June 28, 2017 – Indi Molecular, an emerging life sciences company that is developing a novel, synthetic class of binders with antibody-like properties called protein catalyzed capture agents (PCCs), announced today that it has raised a $11.5 million Series-A financing led by M Ventures (Merck Ventures BV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany known as M Ventures in the United States and Canada), the strategic corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA Darmstadt, Germany; Legend Capital, a venture capital/private equity fund based in Beijing; Sabey Corporation; and existing investors including Asset Management Ventures. As part of the financing, Dr. Andreas Jurgeit from Merck Ventures and Dr. Darren Cai from Legend Capital will join Indi Molecular’s board. The Series-A proceeds will be used to establish a high throughput PCC discovery platform and to advance existing leads in PET immuno-oncology imaging to clinical stage.
Indi Molecular was founded in 2013 by Leroy Hood (Institute of Systems Biology, Seattle), James Heath (Caltech) and Al Luderer to commercialize a unique discovery platform, which leverages the PCC technology developed at James Heath’s lab at Caltech. PCCs are highly specific, low molecular-weight binders with unprecedented specificity. The fully synthetic process allows for the creation of binders against difficult targets in a short time. PCCs combine the benefits of antibody-like binding with the flexibility and chemical properties of small molecules. As such, they represent a novel modality with broad potential impact across research, imaging and therapeutic use.
Since its inception, Indi Molecular has shown the utility of PCC binders across a wide range of applications, ranging from research tools and diagnostic agents to PET imaging. The company has collaborated with partners including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the US Department of Defense and leading healthcare companies.
With this round of funding, Indi Molecular will establish an automated high throughput PCC discovery process. Additionally, Indi Molecular’s most advanced PCC candidate, a highly specific PET tracer that allows for noninvasive efficacy monitoring of immuno-oncology interventions, will be advanced to clinical stage.
Al Luderer, Indi Molecular’s CEO and co-founder said: “The company is pleased with the confidence our new investors have in the demonstrated maturity of our PCC platform and its potential to transform biological measurements across many medical applications.”
Andreas Jurgeit, investment director of the Life science fund at M Ventures, said: “Indi Molecular’s PCC technology promises significant impact across a wide range of applications from research tools to patients as a novel modality used in PET imaging. We are very excited to build a company based on this highly promising technology with an experienced team of founders and co-investors. M Ventures’ Life Science team focuses on investments outside of the realm of drug development – anything that is not a drug or not yet a drug – ranging from process solutions to novel modalities.”
Darren Cai, Managing Director of Legend Capital, said: “We are impressed by the potential of Indi Molecular’s technology in both the diagnostic and the therapeutic fields and believe their strong management team is poised to create a game-changing company. Legend Capital works with high quality entrepreneurs and investors globally to advance new technologies and business transformations.”
About Indi Molecular
Indi Molecular is an emerging life sciences company that is developing a synthetic class of diagnostic and therapeutic agents with antibody-like properties: protein-catalyzed capture agents. PCCs were created in collaboration with the California Institute of Technology using “click chemistry,” a synthetic process that allows scientists to permanently join (“click”) together molecular components with unusual precision and stability. PCCs offer the promise of superior stability, lower cost and faster creation compared to monoclonal antibodies, the current standard for identifying biomarkers in most diagnostics platforms – and in many therapeutic uses.
The company launched as a spinout from its parent company Integrated Diagnostics (Indi) in 2013 with a $1.8 million seed round led by InterWest Partners together with Asset Management Ventures and several angel investors. The company has received grants from the Department of Defense and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information visit www.IndiMolecular.com
About M Ventures
Merck Ventures BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany (known as M Ventures in the United States and Canada)
Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Merck Ventures is the strategic, corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Its mandate is to invest in innovative technologies and products with the potential to significantly impact Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany‘s core business areas.
From our headquarters in Amsterdam and offices in the US and Israel we invest globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. M Ventures takes an active role in its portfolio companies and teams up with entrepreneurs and co-investors to translate innovation towards commercial success. For more information visit www.m-ventures.com
About Legend Capital
Legend Capital is an early-stage Venture Capital and expansion-stage Growth Capital investment fund based in Beijing, China. It is currently managing several USD funds and RMB funds, as well as dedicated Healthcare funds. The focus of Legend Capital is on innovation and growth enterprises with operations in China or related to China.