Versant Ventures, Arch Venture Partners, and co-founding stakeholder Cardinal Partners invested $50 million in a Series A round to launch Vividion Therapeutics as a spin-out from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI). San Diego-based Vividion aims to exploit a proprietary drug discovery platform to develop new treatments against novel targets for major unmet clinical needs. The firm says it already holds IP covering previously unrecognized druggable sites in the proteome. Vividion’s board is headed by executive chairman, Tom Daniel, M.D., previously president of global research and early development at Celgene.

Vividion is exploiting a drug discovery platform that combines chemical proteomics with synthetic methods to enable proteome-wide target and ligand discovery. Developed in the laboratories of TSRI researchers Benjamin Cravatt, Ph.D., Phil Baran, Ph.D., and Jin-Quan Yu, Ph.D., the technology assesses protein–drug interactions in native biological systems and creates proteome-wide drug interaction maps, allowing the definition of in situ drug interaction sites on both known and previously undruggable targets. 

“The Vividion Therapeutics’ platform allows human biology to fundamentally drive the selection of drug targets and to create entry points for targets previously considered to be undruggable,” said Kristina Burow, managing director at Arch Venture Partners. “The team at Vividion Therapeutics has created a novel platform based on chemical proteomics and modern synthetic chemistry that will radically expand the druggability of the human proteome. We believe this will lead to innovative therapeutics that have the ability to significantly benefit patients.”

Within the last month Versant closed its $400 million Versant Venture Capital VI fund, which it says will be invested in 20 to 25 biotechs in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The first investments are expected during Q1 2017. 

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