Hexagon Bio Raises $61 Million to Advance Novel Small-Molecule Medicines Mined from Microbial Genomes
- Proceeds to fund expansion of leading-edge, interdisciplinary drug discovery platform and advance a preclinical pipeline initially focused on oncology and infectious diseases
- Funding led by Nextech Invest, with new investors SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Casdin Capital and existing investors The Column Group, 8VC, and Two Sigma Ventures
MENLO PARK, CA, September 22, 2021 – Hexagon Bio, a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery of medicines encoded in the global metagenome, today announced that it has raised $61 million to fuel the continued development of its platform to design and develop new therapeutics mined from microbial genomes. Nextech Invest led the financing, with participation from new investors SoftBank Vision Fund 2* and Casdin Capital, as well as existing investors The Column Group, 8VC, and Two Sigma Ventures.
“Microbial genomes are an incredibly rich source of diverse, potent and drug-like compounds that, as a result of millions of years of evolution, provide elegant solutions to human therapeutic targets that have eluded traditional screening approaches. To date, the discovery of these small molecules has been limited to a tiny fraction of the earth’s microbes and hampered by a lack of mechanistic understanding of the intended drug targets,” said Maureen Hillenmeyer, Ph.D., Hexagon’s co-founder and CEO. “Hexagon exists to overcome these challenges and unearth new medicines to combat human disease. We are excited to embark on the next phase of growth to discover and develop unique and potent therapeutic compounds for a broad spectrum of intractable diseases.”
Hexagon’s interdisciplinary platform combines technological advances and proprietary insights across machine learning, genomics, synthetic biology and automation to systematically discover new chemical compounds linked to known protein targets. Hexagon has built a database of microbial genomes that is more than twice the size of all public databases and is adding thousands of additional genomes per month. Hexagon is leveraging this database to rapidly discover structurally diverse small molecules, and, using its proprietary heterologous expression (HEx) technology, produce and optimize the resulting therapeutic candidates. Proceeds from the financing will enable the company to further expand its genomics database and accelerate its drug discovery efforts with an initial focus on high-value anti-infective and oncology targets.
The latest financing brings the total of committed funding for Hexagon to more than $108 million. In conjunction with Nextech Invest’s participation, managing partner Jakob Loven, Ph.D. will join the Hexagon board of directors.
“Hexagon’s differentiated approach to identifying novel chemical matter against challenging targets presents a compelling opportunity,” said Dr. Loven. “We look forward to working with Hexagon’s talented team to help realize the company’s ambitious vision of turning nature’s hidden molecules into first-in-class medicines for patients in need.”
About Hexagon Bio
Hexagon Bio is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery of medicines encoded in the global metagenome. The company’s highly interdisciplinary platform uses data science, genomics, synthetic biology and automation to mine evolutionarily refined small molecules and their protein targets directly from microbial genomes and turn these molecules into therapeutics to combat human diseases that have evaded traditional approaches. Learn more at hexagonbio.com.