BridgeBio Pharma, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, provided further detail on its growing pipeline of genetic disease assets and announced a new financing of $135 million, with potential to access significant additional capital via insiders. New investor Viking Global Investors and existing investor KKR co-led the round and were joined by existing investor Perceptive Advisors alongside new investors AIG, Aisling Capital, Cormorant Capital and Janus Funds. The new financing will be used to support BridgeBio Pharma’s existing programs and establish novel efforts.
“BridgeBio Pharma continues to focus on our mission to create medicines for patients with genetic diseases,” said Neil Kumar, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer of BridgeBio Pharma. “In particular, we work to identify promising, but often overlooked, early stage innovation that can translate into drugs that matter for patients. We are fortunate to be supported by investors who believe in our mission.”
Genetic diseases are conditions for which the pathogenicity can be traced back to distinct somatic or germline mutations. These conditions encompass both Mendelian inherited diseases that tend to be pediatric and well-described cancers with clear genetic drivers. There are at least 7,000 genetic diseases that, in total, affect between 25 and 30 million Americans. There are fewer than 500 drugs approved for these conditions, leaving the vast majority of patients without a viable treatment.
With an emphasis on early-stage discovery and development, BridgeBio Pharma was formed in 2015 by a team of R&D veterans from biotech and academia. The company seeks to translate novel scientific discoveries from universities, academic medical centers and pharmaceutical research groups into genetically-targeted therapeutics that address the fundamental causes of disease.
“The last few decades have seen significant strides in our understanding of the molecular pathways of inherited diseases and cancers,” said BridgeBio Pharma co-founder and investor Frank McCormick, Ph.D., a professor in the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and former scientific co-founder of Onyx Pharmaceuticals. “Targeting disease drivers at their source has proven to be an effective strategy for developing novel and impactful therapies.”
BridgeBio’s ‘hub and spoke’ corporate structure provides centralized capabilities for its diverse portfolio of drug programs which are individually housed subsidiary companies. To date, BridgeBio has launched ten drug programs under its dermatology, oncology, cardiology, neurology and endocrine business units. Targeted indications include transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR-CM and ATTR-PN), pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN), Gorlin syndrome and frequent basal cell carcinomas, dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB), Darier and Hailey-Hailey diseases, Netherton syndrome, and SHP-2, K-RAS and C-RAF driven cancers.
“Modern drug discovery requires modern business infrastructure,” said company co-founder and investor Andrew W. Lo, Ph.D., the Charles E. and Susan T. Harris Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering. “Despite the terrific scientific innovations we’ve seen in biomedicine, there’s been much less innovation on the corporate side. BridgeBio employs a novel structure that combines portfolio diversification with asset-level focus to sustainably develop drugs for genetic disease.”