Hexagon Bio announced that it has closed $47 million in Series A financing. The round was led by The Column Group, with participation from 8VC and Two Sigma Ventures.
Hexagon’s discovery platform is designed to identify potentially therapeutic secondary metabolites and their protein targets directly from fungal genomes. The company has developed an algorithm called Ticker to identify human targets of these secondary metabolites and a synthetic biology platform called Hex for the expression of fungal biosynthetic genes and their encoded metabolites in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
“Hexagon has shown that we can build small molecules targeting key proteins in human disease, using our database of microbial genomes. Now it’s time to scale up, and Hexagon is exceptionally well poised to do so using automation and large-scale DNA sequencing of microbes, starting with fungi,” said Hexagon CEO, Maureen Hillenmeyer.
Hexagon said it will use the Series A funding to develop a proprietary genomics database of new secondary metabolites and hire a drug discovery team to develop these compounds into drugs, with an initial focus on cancer and infectious disease. Tod Smeal, formerly of Eli Lilly, Pfizer and SUGEN, will join as Chief Scientific Officer to lead the drug discovery efforts.
“Drug resistance in human fungal and bacterial infections is a growing threat with the potential to severely limit treatment options for patients,” said Dusan Perovic, Principal at Two Sigma Ventures. “We are proud to support the world-class engineers and data scientists at Hexagon as they work to leverage software and automation to build the next wave of targeted therapies and expand treatment options for infectious diseases.”