Three Cambridge spin-outs join Centessa Pharmaceuticals, launched with a $250m Series A round


17-02-2021

ApcinteX, Morphogen-IX, Z Factor join seven other privately held biotech companies in a new type of pharmaceutical R&D model.


Centessa Pharmaceuticals has launched as a novel asset-centric pharmaceutical company designed and built to advance a portfolio of highly validated programs. Its asset-centric R&D model, applied at scale, has assembled best-in-class or first-in-class assets, each of which is led by specialised teams committed to accelerate development and reshape the traditional drug development process.

Centessa was founded by Medicxi, which has raised $250 million in an oversubscribed Series A financing led by General Atlantic and co-led by Vida Ventures and Janus Henderson Investors. Additional blue-chip investors participated in the financing, including Boxer Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, T Rowe Price Associates, Inc., Venrock Healthcare Capital Partners, Wellington Management Company, BVF Partners L.P., EcoR1 Capital, Franklin Templeton, Logos Capital, Samsara BioCapital, LifeSci Venture Partners, and an undisclosed US-based, healthcare-focused fund.

In conjunction with its launch, Centessa has completed the merger of ten private biotech companies that will each continue to develop their assets, with oversight from the Centessa management team. Each subsidiary is asset-focused, prosecuting a single program or biological pathway, with leadership provided by subject matter experts given a high degree of autonomy to advance each program. With a singular focus on advancing exceptional science, combined with proprietary capabilities, including structure-based drug discovery and design, the subsidiary teams enable Centessa to potentially develop and deliver impactful medicines to patients.

Centessa brings together ten companies from Medicxi’s portfolio. Together they have 15 high-conviction programs. Each Centessa Subsidiary is led by industry leaders and subject matter experts with deep expertise directly related to key biological pathways that underpin the programs. These entrepreneurs, who have catalysed the creation of subsidiary companies, will continue to advance novel science within Centessa. The subsidiaries are ApcinteX, Capella BioScience, Janpix, LockBody, Morphogen-IX, Orexia Therapeutics, Palladio Biosciences, PearlRiver Bio, Pega-One, and Z-Factor.

The current Centessa portfolio consists of four clinical stage programs, including two that are in late-stage clinical development, and more than ten additional programs spanning diseases with high unmet need across oncology, hematology, immunology, inflammation, neuroscience, and rare diseases. Additional information on Centessa Pharmaceuticals may be found here.

To read more information, click here.

Cambridge Enterprise exists to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University.

Cambridge Enterprise, University of Cambridge