Adagio Therapeutics, focusing on developing antibodies in the laboratory that could “neutralize” SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic, had no trouble raising more funds than it was even asking for—$50 million when seeking $40 million. Founded by a Dartmouth professional named Tillman Gerngross, a successful serial entrepreneur with a successful track record, including protein drug maker GlycoFi co-founded with Thayer colleague Charles Hutchinson in 2000 and acquired by Merck for $400 million in 2006. The intellectual inspiration for Adagio Therapeutics (named to imply slow and measured) was born at Adimab, a privately-held Lebanon-based biotech company the professor launched in 2007—now valued at over $2 billion, according to one investor.
Recently, John Lippman with Valley News in Lebanon, NH wrote about this hidden gem of a venture. The local press reports that Tillman Gerngross, originally from Austria—who spent a good amount of time in Los Angeles as a youth—earned his PhD in molecular biology at the Technical University of Vienna then spent four years at MIT as a postdoc prior to showing up at Dartmouth to teach back in 1998.
Adagio Therapeutics is focused on the development of “best-in-class” antibodies designed in a lab to broadly neutralize COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, and other emergent coronaviruses. The New Hampshire-based founding group is quite confident: stating on their website that their antibodies “will match or exceed the potency and coverage of conventional SARS-CoV-2 antibody programs” and, in addition, they tout can be positioned for both therapeutic and “durable prophylactic treatments.”
As mentioned previously, the company, founded just in 2020, has already led an oversubscribed investment round of $50 million. This is because their antibodies could potentially be more competitive than those currently being tested by Eli Lilly and Regeneron for COVID-19, for example.
They tout on their website that their lead program is expected to enter the clinic toward the end of this year.
Call to Action: Check out Mr. Lippman’s full article on this interesting biotech startup focusing on COVID-19 antibodies—they make TrialSite‘s Investor Watch.