BridgeBio Pharma Hauls in $299M for Genetic Disease Drugs R&D

Xconomy San Francisco — 

Biotech startup creator BridgeBio Pharma has raised $299.2 million to support its work developing new drugs to treat rare, genetic diseases.

Palo Alto, CA-based BridgeBio searches for promising drug research at universities, academic medical centers, and drug companies. After acquiring rights to a compound, BridgeBio forms a subsidiary company to develop it.

Operating under a “hub and spoke” corporate structure, these subsidiaries develop their respective drug candidates while sharing resources of the parent, BridgeBio. But these subsidiaries can also strike out on their own. Eidos Therapeutics (NASDAQ: EIDX), raised $106 million in its IPO last June. Eidos is developing a drug to treat transthyretin amyloidosis, a disorder marked by the buildup of amyloid protein in organs and tissues. Another subsidiary, PellePharm, reached a $70 million deal with Denmark-based LEO Pharma last November that will finance late-stage studies of an experimental treatment for a rare skin cancer.

BridgeBio’s newest company, QED Therapeutics, was formed last year to develop a drug acquired from Novartis (NYSE: NVS) as a treatment for a rare pediatric bone disorder. Including the QED drug, BridgeBio’s pipeline includes more 15 compounds in various stages of development. BridgeBio says it will use the new funds to support those programs.

KKR and Viking Global Investors co-led the round of investment in BridgeBio. Those firms were also the lead investors of a $135 million investment in BridgeBio in 2017. Other earlier investors in the latest financing included Perceptive Advisors, AIG, Aisling Capital Cormorant Capital, and Hercules Capital. They were joined by new investors Sequoia Capital and another undisclosed investor.

Photo by Flickr user Anthony Quintano via a Creative commons license