Mediar Therapeutics announces $105 million in funding to advance portfolio of best-in-class fibrosis therapies


  • The company is pioneering a novel approach by targeting fibrotic mediators that drive disease progression
  • The portfolio includes three targets, each of which is measurable in plasma and correlates with disease severity
  • Proceeds will advance programs into clinical trials in 2024; Lead asset on track for candidate nomination in Q2 2023

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Mediar Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company advancing a portfolio of first-in-class therapies that halt and even reverse the course of fibrosis, today announced funding of $105 million with participation from Pfizer Ventures, Mission BioCapital, Gimv, Pureos, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly & Company, Ono Venture Investment and Mass General Brigham Ventures. Mediar was founded on groundbreaking fibrosis research by Mass General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals in partnership with Mass General Brigham Ventures with the goal of transforming the treatment of fibrotic disease by targeting myofibroblasts, the key cell type driving fibrosis progression. Mediar is led by industry veteran Chief Executive Officer Rahul Ballal, Ph.D. and Chief Scientific Officer Paul Yaworsky, Ph.D. dr Ballal comes to Mediar with nearly 20 years of biotechnology experience, most recently as CEO of Imara, which recently merged with Enliven Therapeutics. dr Yaworsky joined Mediar in 2019 after a successful 21-year career at Pfizer, most recently as COO of inflammation and immunology research. New to Mediar’s board are Nandita Shangari, Ph.D., from Novartis Venture Fund, Maina Bhaman, MBA, from Sofinnova Partners, and Andreas Jurgeit, Ph.D., from Gimv.

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Mediar’s portfolio includes three novel targets that are readily detectable in blood and correlate with disease severity, allowing for a low-risk approach to clinical development. The Series A funding will support the advancement of the Company’s portfolio of first-in-class antibody treatments that offer unique potential to treat fibrosis at various stages of the disease, with two programs progressing to human trials in 2024.

“We apply a precision approach to our fibrosis programs to improve the odds of success in human proof-of-concept studies and identify the right patients for each therapy,” said Chief Executive Officer Rahul Ballal, Ph.D. “The support of this broad consortium of investors allows us to leverage our deep insights into the pathology of fibrosis and advance meaningful clinical impact across the treatment landscape.”

“We are particularly excited about our flagship WISP-1 program, which is near candidate selection and has progressed largely through testing in primary preclinical human systems,” said Chief Scientific Officer Paul Yaworsky, Ph.D. He continued, “We are also advancing promising leads from our other two first-in-class portfolio programs into pre-clinical in vivo proof-of-concept studies.”

Fibrosis contributes to 45 percent of deaths in developed countries1 and is one of the most complicated chronic pathologies due to an extensive and complex network of intertwined biological pathways. Current therapeutic approaches focus primarily on the initiators of fibrosis, which modulate underlying immune responses known to drive disease onset. However, the pursuit of these initiators can disrupt related pro-inflammatory signaling pathways that protect the body against disease and may lead to treatment-limiting safety concerns. Mediar is focused on targeting fibrotic mediators that drive disease progression and potentially circumvent the limitations of current approaches.

“Mediar brings deep research insight and a solid understanding of fibrotic diseases,” said Maina Bhaman, Partner at Sofinnova Partners. ‚ÄúThese strengths, coupled with a focus on pursuing unexplored avenues that drive fibrosis progression, position the company to transform the way the disease is addressed and potentially deliver meaningful therapeutic impact. We are delighted to have Rahul and Paul at the forefront of this unique effort.”

1 Friedman, SL, et al. (2013). Scientific Transl. medication5(167), 167sr1.

About Mediar Therapeutics

Mediar Therapeutics is a biotechnology company pioneering a new approach to treating fibrosis that stops the disease at another source – the fibrotic mediators that drive disease progression. Mediar was founded on a deep understanding of the complex science underlying the onset and progression of fibrosis. By combining novel targets with reliable, easily detectable blood biomarkers and familiar modalities, Mediar paves the way for fibrosis therapies in clinical development. For more information contact info@mediartx.com or follow us on LinkedIn.

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