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Biopharmaceuticals Venture Capital

 News Release - September 2, 2021

Disc Medicine Announces $90 Million Series B Financing to Advance Portfolio of Clinical-Stage Therapies for Hematologic Diseases

Proceeds will be used to advance multiple programs in Disc's hematology pipeline into phase 2 development

Financing led by OrbiMed and includes new investors Arix Bioscience, Janus Henderson Investors, 5AM Ventures, Rock Springs Capital and others


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 2, 2021 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Disc Medicine, a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel therapies for the treatment of serious and debilitating hematologic diseases, today announced a $90 million Series B financing from a leading syndicate of investors. The financing was led by OrbiMed with participation from new investors Arix Bioscience, Janus Henderson Investors, 5AM Ventures, Rock Springs Capital, Nantahala Capital Management, Willett Advisors, and Alexandria Venture Investments. Existing investors also participated in the financing, including Atlas Venture, Novo Holdings and Access Biotechnology.

"We are honored to have the support of this leading group of investors, who share our vision and recognize the far-reaching impact our programs can have on the lives of patients. I'm delighted to welcome both Mona Ashiya, PhD, Partner at OrbiMed, and Mark Chin, MS, MBA, Managing Director at Arix Bioscience to our Board and look forward to working with them," said John Quisel, JD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer at Disc Medicine. "We have made immense progress this year and have established a strong foundation for growth, including building a portfolio of first-in-class, clinical-stage treatments and assembling a strong leadership team with the capabilities to advance these programs deep into development. This financing will accelerate the next stage of our journey as we enter clinical studies in patients next year."

The proceeds of the financing will be used to advance the development of Disc's hematology pipeline of therapeutic candidates. This includes conducting a phase 2 study of its lead program bitopertin, an oral, clinical-stage GlyT1 inhibitor with potential to become the first disease-modifying treatment for erythropoietic porphyrias (EP), a family of rare and debilitating genetic disorders caused by dysregulated heme synthesis. It will also support a phase 2 clinical study of DISC-0974, an anti-hemojuvelin (HJV) monoclonal antibody designed to suppress hepcidin, to treat myelofibrosis patients with transfusion-dependent anemia. DISC-0974 is currently being studied in a phase 1 clinical trial of healthy volunteers, and the company expects to report data later this year. The company intends to expand clinical development of both programs and plans to initiate clinical studies in additional hematologic disorders.

About Bitopertin

Bitopertin is a clinical-stage, orally administered small molecule inhibitor of glycine transporter 1 (GlyT1). Glycine is an essential precursor for heme biosynthesis and GlyT1 is required to maintain adequate levels of intracellular glycine in developing erythrocytes. As a modulator of heme synthesis, bitopertin has the potential to provide benefit for a range of disorders caused by imbalances in the production of heme and its pathway intermediates. Bitopertin has been evaluated in over 4,000 healthy volunteers and patients in over 30 clinical trials across multiple indications, including several phase 2 and 3 trials in psychiatric disorders and in a rare blood cell disorder, and has a well-defined safety profile. Although CNS efficacy was not established in these studies, bitopertin demonstrated marked effects on heme synthesis. Moreover, in preclinical studies conducted by Disc Medicine, inhibition of GlyT1 by bitopertin was shown to decrease levels of the metabolites that are the underlying cause of EP. Bitopertin is an experimental agent and is not approved for use as a therapy in any jurisdiction worldwide.

About DISC-0974

DISC-0974 is an investigational, first-in-class monoclonal antibody designed to suppress hepcidin production by inhibiting the hemojuvelin (HJV) co-receptor, a highly selective and critical target of the hepcidin pathway. Hepcidin is the primary regulatory hormone of iron homeostasis and plays a central role by restricting iron absorption and preventing deployment from internal iron stores. DISC-0974 is being developed as a potential treatment for anemia of inflammation by suppressing hepcidin and enhancing iron availability for erythropoiesis. Preclinical studies of DISC-0974 and human genetic evidence validate that inhibition of HJV results in potent suppression of hepcidin and increased serum iron. Disc obtained global rights to DISC-0974 and related molecules under a license agreement from AbbVie in October 2019. DISC-0974 is an experimental agent and is not approved for use as a therapy in any jurisdiction worldwide.

About Disc Medicine

Disc Medicine is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that is dedicated to transforming the lives of patients with hematologic disorders. We are building a unique portfolio of innovative, first-in-class therapeutic candidates based on fundamental pathways of red blood cell biology. Disc Medicine is committed to building a brighter future for patients who suffer from hematologic disease, ranging from severe orphan conditions to widely prevalent diseases. For more information, please visit www.discmedicine.com.


Source: Disc Medicine

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