Modifi Bio Raises Additional $4.3 Million in Seed Funding

Financing will drive the further development of a new class of drugs targeting DNA repair defects in cancer.

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Oct. 16, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Modifi Biosciences, a leader in DNA modification as a novel approach to target cancer, today announced the closing of $4.3 million in a second round of seed financing, bringing the total raised to date to $10.7 million. This round included existing investors Connecticut Innovation, HighCape Capital, Advantage Capital (Ironwood) and the National Brain Tumor Society, while also adding new investors Pathway BioVentures, The Sontag Foundation, and BrightEdge, the impact investment and innovation arm of the American Cancer Society.

“We are gratified to see our existing investors' continued support in our mission to develop an entirely new approach to target cancers with DNA repair defects,” said Ranjit S. Bindra, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder of Modifi Bio, Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor and Vice Chair for Translational Research at Yale School of Medicine, and Scientific Director of the Chênevert Family Brain Tumor Center at Yale Cancer Center. He added, “We are also excited to bring in new investors with a track record for investing in high-impact, cutting-edge cancer therapeutics development.”

With the recent raise in capital, the company is now strongly positioned to further advance its lead molecules towards IND-enabling studies and phase I clinical trials.

As part of the funding, Modifi Bio also announces the appointment of Kat Kayser-Bricker, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Halda Therapeutics, to the Board of Directors, who brings a wealth of expertise in drug discovery. Dr. Kayser-Bricker's experience includes a decade-long tenure at FORMA Therapeutics, a public company that was acquired by Novo Nordisk for $1.1 billion in 2022. Her roles there, culminating as the Head of Early Discovery Chemistry, involved her in target nomination, hit finding, and portfolio advancement. This included her significant role in the development of FORMA's inaugural drug candidate, exclusively licensed to Celgene in 2018.

Beyond her scientific contributions, she excelled in building collaborative relationships with academic and pharmaceutical partners, driving portfolio growth and technological progress. Her commitment to innovation is evident in her leadership of technology initiatives, such as the establishment of a DNA-encoded library platform at FORMA and the invention of RIPTAC™ therapeutics at Halda.

Additionally, Lucas de Breed, PhD MBA, will join as a board member, in his capacity as Director, Investments at BrightEdge. Previously, as a Manager at Deallus, a global strategy consulting firm for large biopharma clients, he led the Oncology business unit and founded the firm’s East Coast office. As an Investment Director at INKEF Capital, a leading European VC firm, Lucas led the allocation of $120 million in US and European therapeutics companies, serving on the respective Boards and realizing a number of exits. At INKEF, he was instrumental in setting the investment strategy, building out the investment team and in expanding assets under management to $600 million.

About The Sontag Foundation
The Sontag Foundation, established in 2002, is a private family foundation strategically focused on brain cancer. The foundation is dedicated to advancing brain cancer research by investing in brilliant scientists who are committed to the pursuit of bold, innovative, and transformative ideas.

About Modifi Bio
Based in New Haven, CT, Modifi Bio is a leader in direct DNA modification developing novel therapeutics by uniquely targeting tumor-associated DNA repair defects. Aiming to improve the standard of cancer therapy and patient care, the Modifi Bio team includes world-renowned scientists, clinicians and experienced biotech entrepreneurs with deep expertise in synthetic chemistry, DNA repair, and translational research in oncology. The company has offices and laboratories at the Elm City Bioscience Center, a newly renovated 110,000 square-foot facility within walking distance of Yale that supports emerging New Haven biotechnology companies.

Ashley Carrison
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