Frequency Therapeutics said today that it raised a $62.0 million Series C round for the hearing loss drug it’s developing and inked a development and overseas distribution deal with Astellas Pharma that’s worth $625 million.
Woburn, Mass.-based Frequency drew a $42 million Series B early this year; including the financing announced today, a $32 million Series A and seed funding, the company says it’s put $147 million into its coffers.
Perceptive Advisors and a syndicate of new and existing backers led the round, including Deerfield Management, RTW Investments and Mizuho Securities Principal Investment and prior investors Polaris Founders Capital, Taiwania Capital Management, Axil Capital and CoBro Ventures, Frequency said.
The proceeds are earmarked for the clinical program behind FX-322, which is designed to stimulate the regrowth of sensory hair cells to treat chronic noise-induced hearing loss. Frequency’s technology is based on activating progenitor cells – mature stem cells that can proliferate into different types of cells. The compound is injected into the middle ear in a slow-release gel. The company said it’s also planning to use the funds to investigate other therapeutic uses for its PCA technology.
Frequency also said it inked a deal for the FX-322 candidate, which is moving into a Phase 2a study, with Astellas Pharma for the development and overseas distribution of the drug. The agreement includes $80 million in up-front cash and another $545 million in milestones, the company said.
“This financing comes at an important time for Frequency as we prepare to advance our lead clinical candidate, FX-322, into a Phase 2a study of sensorineural hearing loss, a condition for which there are no approved therapies,” president & CEO David Lucchino said in prepared remarks. “This significant support from investors, coupled with the funds from our recent license and collaboration agreement, will enable us to continue to move FX-322 through clinical development and to explore the potential of our PCA platform in other therapeutic categories where we believe progenitor cell activation can lead to new treatments for degenerative diseases.”
“We are focused on working with life sciences companies that are applying transformative approaches to developing medicines in disease areas that are underserved by current therapies,” added Perceptive Advisors CEO Joseph Edelman. “We were impressed by the vision of Frequency’s leadership, the elegance and the underlying science of their platform, and the team’s commitment to developing treatments for hearing loss and other areas where there is clear patient need.”
“Frequency is working to reduce the complexity of regenerative medicine by leveraging innate biology to create localized healing,” chairman Marc Cohen said in a press release. “We are excited by the potential in the company’s PCA platform to produce a new class of medicines and by the new and existing investors who continue to support our efforts to develop transformative therapies for patients.”