Medical Pharma

Mediar bags $105 mn from big pharmas to pursue fibrosis treatments

fibrosis therapy pact

HQ Team

March 16, 2023: Mediar Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company that specializes in first-in-class therapies for fibrosis, has announced a $105 million financing.

This includes an $85 million Series A round led by Novartis Venture Fund and Sofinnova Partners and with participation from Pfizer Ventures, Mission BioCapital, Gimv, Pureos, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly & Company, Ono Venture Investment and Mass General Brigham Ventures. 

Mediar fibrosis portfolio

The series A financing will support the advancement of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech company’s portfolio of three first-in-class antibody treatments, which offer unique potential to address fibrosis at varying stages of the disease, with two programs advancing into human studies in 2024. All three of the targets being explored so far “are readily detectable in blood and correlate to disease severity, enabling a de-risked approach to clinical development,” the biotech said in a release Wednesday morning.

“We are applying 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. 

“We are particularly excited about our lead WISP-1 program, which is near candidate selection and has advanced largely through investigations in primary human preclinical systems,” said chief scientific officer Paul Yaworsky. 

Severe fibrosis is estimated to cause 45% of all deaths in the developed world. A buildup of scar tissue is known as fibrosis. It can lead to inflammation and reduced blood and oxygen delivery to the organ, and in the long term, it can cause organ failure and, sometimes, eventually, death.

Fibrosis therapies

The current therapies available for fibrosis focus on the initiators of fibrosis that modulate the underlying immune responses known to drive disease onset. Mediar is focused on targeting fibrotic mediators that drive disease progression and potentially avoid the limitations of current approaches.

Some other companies treating fibrosis through biotech include Galapagos and ProQR.

Belgian startup Confo Therapeutics is another company working in this field. iOnctura, a spinout from Merck KGaA has raised $15.91 million to take its fibrosis drugs to phase I clinical trials.


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