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B.C. nuclear medicine startup Abdera lands $142M

Abdera platform designs radioisotopes for treating cancer
Abdera CEO Lori Lyons-William says radiopharmaceuticals hold the potential to transform the treatment of cancer

Abdera Therapeutics Inc., a Vancouver biopharma startup specializing in the treatment of cancer with radioisotopes, has landed $142 million in Series A and B financing, just a couple of years after the company was formed.

Abdera was launched in early 2021 with the help of life sciences accelerator adMare BioInnovations and $8 million in seed financing from AbCellera (Nasdaq:ABCL). Abdera developed a platform, called ROVEr, that can be used to design targeted alpha therapies (radioisotopes) to target and destroy tumor cells.

The company announced Thursday it has raised $142 million in Series A financing led by Versant Ventures and Amplitude Ventures, with participation from Northview Ventures and its founders, adMare BioInnovations and AbCellera, and Series B financing led by venBio Partners, with participation from Viking Global Investors, Qiming Venture Partners USA and RTW Investments.

“Versant has been an early mover in the emerging radiopharmaceutical field, and we believe that Abdera’s approach represents a new wave of innovation in this space to address important cancer targets that may be intractable to other approaches,” Versant Ventures principal Joel Drewry said in a press release. “We’re excited to be working with an exceptional management team and investor syndicate to advance the company’s cutting-edge technology.”

“Radiopharmaceuticals hold the potential to transform the treatment of cancer, but the ability to finely tune radioisotope delivery to the tumor, while sparing healthy tissue, remains a major challenge for this class of drugs,” Abdera CEO Lori Lyons-Williams said in a press release. “Our goal is to leverage the power and flexibility of our platform to pursue a variety of oncology targets, advance potential best-in-class new cancer medicines and build Abdera into a leading radiopharmaceutical company.”

Abdera has five products in the pipeline. Its lead product candidate is ABD-147, which would be used to treat small-cell lung cancer. It is in preclinical development. Abdera expects to submit an investigational new drug application (IND) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2024.

-With files from Tyler Orton

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