By Eduardo Longoria
On September 29th, Dewpoint Therapeutics, the biomolecular condensates company, announced raising US$ 77 million in a Series B round led by ARCH Venture Partners. The round saw participation from new investors Maverick Ventures and Bellco Capital and existing investors Leaps by Bayer, EcoR1 Capital, Polaris Partners, Samsara BioCapital, and Innovation Endeavors. The privately held, small (around 50 employees) and recently founded (2018) firm had its US$ 60 million Series A in early 2019 and is demonstrating strong growth.
Founded by Tony Hyman of the Max Planck Institute in Dresden and Rick Young of the Whitehead Institute, Dewpoint therapeutics, as described on their website, translates condensate biology into much needed medicines. The company, based both in Boston and Dresden, is attempting to develop drugs to hit “undruggable” targets.
Biomolecular condensates are membraneless droplets formed by phase separation inside cells that facilitate molecular interactions and help cells perform vital functions. The condensates are well defined despite being membraneless and act to concentrate and organize biomolecules in areas of the cell that have low concentrations of them. Dewpoint aims to make use of these little studied phenomena to treat and cure rare diseases. The role of the condensates includes cell signaling, immune synapse function, nuclear transcription, RNA splicing and processing, mRNA storage and translation, virus replication, antiviral mechanisms, DNA sensing and protein turnover, and mitosis. Dewpoint also promotes learning about the science behind their products by linking to condensates.com on their website.
Dewpoint has built a proprietary platform using high-throughput methods to test libraries of potential drugs and identify compounds that modulate biomolecular condensates in specific diseases. Approaches to modulating condensates that may positively impact disease include dissolving or forming condensates, modulating the composition of condensates, stabilizing condensates, and selective drug delivery into condensates.
“Our proprietary platform has already generated two significant external collaborations with Merck and Bayer, and today’s announcement underscores the interest in biomolecular condensates among investors with a track record of backing groundbreaking science,” said Amir Nashat, Interim CEO of Dewpoint Therapeutics.
Dewpoint intends to use the proceeds from this round to develop its platform further and identify additional compounds that modulate their condensates. In particular, Dewpoint focuses on opportunities relating to neurodegeneration, cancer, inflammation, infectious disease, metabolic disease, and rare genetic disorders.
In addition to the financial news, Dewpoint has another reason to be optimistic. Giuseppe Ciaramella, Ph.D., has just been announced as the newest member of Dewpoint’s board of directors. Dr.Ciarmella brings a strong industry background to the job with his experience as president and chief scientific officer of Beam Therapeutics and work at Moderna, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, and Pfizer as well. Dr. Ciaramella holds a B.Sc. and Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from University College London.
The cutting edge technology and highly skilled personnel of Dewpoint Therapeutics have generated interest from investors and offer them the opportunity to develop treatments for rare and often difficult to treat illnesses and disorders. This traditionally very hard to tap market can turn DewPoint into a giant in its field if its platform becomes as effective as they hope. Becoming the go-to company for a little-studied disorder can guarantee Dewpoint customers and a growing market share for years to come.
Editor: Rajaneesh K. Gopinath, Ph.D.