Hexagon Bio secures $47M to advance drug discovery platform

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

September 15, 2020 -- Hexagon Bio has closed $47 million in series A financing to advance its drug discovery capabilities on its fungal genomics-based platform.

The company's molecule discovery platform uses data science, genomics, and synthetic biology to discover potent, evolutionarily refined secondary metabolites and their protein targets from fungal genomes. The translation of secondary metabolites to clinically useful therapeutics has been hindered by a lack of mechanistic understanding of their intended targets. Hexagon's proprietary algorithms identify secondary metabolites along with their therapeutic targets from genomic data, essentially bypassing conventional screening methods.

Of the estimated 5 million fungi on Earth, only a few thousand genomes have been analyzed. The company will use the new funds to develop a proprietary genomics database of new secondary metabolites and to build a drug discovery team to develop those compounds. Hexagon's initial therapeutic focus areas are oncology and infectious disease. However, the platform will have applications in immunology, cardiovascular, neurological, and metabolic disorders.

Tod Smeal, PhD, will join Hexagon as chief scientific officer to lead the company's drug discovery efforts. David Goeddel, PhD, managing partner at the Column Group, will join as chairman of Hexagon's board of directors.

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