Xontogeny LLC, a Boston-based accelerator that provides seed-stage investments along with strategic and operational support to early-stage life science companies, unveiled five of its latest portfolio companies. These early-stage startups, developing promising therapeutics for a wide range of diseases, have received seed investment and collaboration from Xontogeny to advance their preclinical programs. Since inception in 2016, Xontogeny has supported more than 10 companies through incubation, including two Xontogeny portfolio companies that had liquidity events in Q1 2021.
“We’re helping founders build companies around life-saving technologies while showing that capital can be deployed more efficiently to benefit both founders and investors,” said Chris Garabedian, Chairman and CEO of Xontogeny. “Through smartly deploying seed-stage investments, providing early development expertise, and active collaboration on program development, we help entrepreneurs, founding scientists, and first-time CEOs create value for their life science startups. Additionally, Xontogeny’s team is fully integrated with Perceptive Advisors, serving as Perceptive’s early-stage venture arm. This unique partnership gives our companies access to capital from the Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Funds (the “PXV Funds”) and enables us to stay committed to our mission to support and advance life science technologies from early preclinical development through clinical proof-of-concept.”
Xontogeny provides access to seed capital and strategic support to advance companies in preclinical stages through important de-risking activities and key milestones in preparation for the next stage of financing. Once achieved, Xontogeny-supported companies will be considered for Series A financings through Xontogeny’s affiliation with Perceptive Advisors and the PXV Funds. These complementary investment strategies enable the Xontogeny and Perceptive teams to support companies through the most challenging development stages: from early preclinical development to clinical proof-of-concept studies in patients. While the PXV Funds are focused on Series A and subsequent Series B financings, they are just some of Perceptive Advisors’ various investment vehicles that can support life sciences companies across all stages of their investment life cycle, including late-stage private/mezzanine/crossover financings, debt financings, SPACs, and IPO/follow-on public offerings. Perceptive Advisors recently announced the final close of an oversubscribed $515 million Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund II, LP (“PXV Fund II”), the raise coming less than 18 months after closing of Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund I, LP (“PXV Fund I”, collectively with PXV Fund II, the “PXV Funds”). Companies that are seeded and incubated by Xontogeny will be one source of prospective investments for PXV Fund II, along with direct Series A investments in companies that may have received investment capital and support from other seed funds, incubators, and accelerators in the life sciences sector.
Xontogeny and the PXV Funds support opportunities across all therapeutic areas and drug modalities, including small molecules, peptides, antibodies, genetic technologies, and cell therapy. Additionally, the team can support company creation and provide financing for technologies beyond drug therapeutics, such as medical devices, diagnostics, and emerging healthtech opportunities. Two companies managed and supported by Xontogeny and PXV Fund I have already achieved public liquidity events: Landos Biopharma (NASDAQ:LABP) successfully completed its IPO in February 2021, and Quellis Biosciences was acquired by Catabasis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CATB) through a reverse merger transaction in January 2021.
The recent additions to the Xontogeny seed-funded portfolio of companies are:
- Nephraegis Therapeutics: Developing potential first-in-class compounds to treat renal disease with a lead program in preventing acute kidney injury (AKI) following surgical procedures such as heart valve replacement, abdominal surgery, and liver transplant. NPH-022 is a next-generation epoxyeicosatraenoic acid (EET) analog being developed in both IV and oral formulations.
- NephroDI Therapeutics: Developing a novel AMPK activator for the treatment of the congenital rare disease of Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus (NDI). NDI-5033 is an oral AMPK activator that has expanded application to chronic lithium users and heterozygote NDI patients.
- Peroxitech: Developing a novel PRDX6 inhibitory peptide-2 (PIP-2) product for the treatment of Acute Lung Injury (ALI). The PIP-2 product works through a novel pathway to eliminate reactive oxygen species that build up in the lung leading to respiratory failure with hypoxemia and tissue acidosis. The technology was developed at the University of Pennsylvania.
- Shifa Biomedical: Developing an oral small molecule inhibitor of PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9) for the treatment of dyslipidemia through lowering of LDL cholesterol. The lead product, P-21, has demonstrated good oral bioavailability and pharmacokinetics to allow for oral dosing to provide an alternative to the commercially available injectable PCSK9 monoclonal antibodies. The technology was internally developed at Shifa through NIH Phase I and Phase II SBIR grants.
- Tellus Therapeutics: Developing an oxysterol derivative synthesized from the cholesterol found in human breast milk for the prevention and treatment of white matter brain injury in pre-term neonates. TT-20 will be delivered on top of parenteral nutrition given to neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients. The technology was developed at Duke University.