Pfizer, Genesys invest in natural-product drug maker Adapsyn

Adapsyn Bioscience Inc, a Hamilton, Ontario biotechnology company focused on natural-product drug candidates, has wrapped up an undisclosed round of financing. The deal was co-funded by Pfizer R&D Innovate, an affiliate of U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, and Genesys Capital, a Canadian life sciences venture capital firm. Genesys Managing Director Kelly Holman currently sits on the board. Adapsyn also announced it is partnering with Pfizer to identify and test undiscovered natural products, or organic biomolecules produced by nature, from Pfizer’s microbial strains. Adapsyn was founded in 2016 by CSO Nathan Magarvey.


Adapsyn Bioscience Completes Financing to Advance its Small Molecule Natural Product Platform and Pipeline; Announces Research Collaboration with Pfizer Inc.

HAMILTON, ON, Jan. 9, 2018 /CNW/ – Adapsyn Bioscience Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel medicines derived from evolved small molecule natural products, today announced that it has completed a round of financing that was co-funded by Pfizer R&D Innovate and Genesys Capital. In addition, the company has announced a research collaboration with Pfizer Inc.

Natural products are organic biomolecules produced by nature and, particularly those produced by microbiota, represent a rich source of evolutionarily optimized biologically active molecules. The Adapsyn platform combines genomic and metabolomic data with artificial intelligence and machine-learning to identify novel, mechanistically diverse evolved small molecules from human and environmental microbiomes. The financing will support the company’s internal drug development programs.

“We are excited to apply our platform to unlock the unique targeting capacity of these evolved compounds and realize new therapeutics,” commented Nathan Magarvey, PhD, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Adapsyn. “Recent technological advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and large-scale genomic and metabolomic analysis are reenergizing the field of natural product drug development, and Adapsyn is excited to be at the forefront of this work.”

“Discovering truly novel compounds that exhibit new pharmacological signatures from natural products has historically been a very time- and labor-intensive process,” said Edmund Graziani, Chemistry Research Fellow and Head of Synthetic Biology and Natural Products, Pfizer. “Adapsyn’s technology could potentially help take much of the guess work out of the process, and help reveal novel chemistry and biology from our natural product samples.”

Under the terms of the research agreement, Adapsyn and Pfizer are working together to employ Adapsyn’s proprietary platform technologies with the goal of identifying and testing previously undiscovered natural products from Pfizer’s collection of microbial strains. Both companies have exclusive rights to pursue select novel compounds and their derivatives identified through the collaboration. In addition to an upfront payment, should Pfizer advance any potential compounds identified through the collaboration, Adapsyn is entitled to potential preclinical, and regulatory milestone payments of up to $162 million, as well as royalties on potential future sales of any product that may be derived from this collaboration. Should Adapsyn advance any potential compounds identified through the collaboration, Pfizer will be eligible for future milestone and royalty payments as well.

Dr. Magarvey will be joined on Adapsyn’s Board of Directors by Dr. Margi McLoughlin, Pfizer; Mr. Kelly Holman, Genesys Capital; Dr. Andrew Haigh, the company’s Chief Operating Officer; and Mr. Iain Buchanan, former CEO of Novexel S.A. and NOXXON Pharma AG, as Chairperson of the Board.

About Adapsyn Bioscience

Founded in 2016, Adapsyn Bioscience is developing a next-generation bioinformatics platform devoted to discovering previously unidentified natural product drug candidates by selectively isolating new agents with the potential to interrogate difficult-to-drug phenotypes. The company applies proprietary machine learning to genomic and metabolomic data from microbes in and around us to discover new natural products encoded within microbial genomes. Early components of the Adapsyn platform are detailed in leading scientific journals, including PNAS, Nucleic Acid Research, and the Nature and Cell Series Journals. The company has ongoing collaborations with leading pharmaceutical companies and is actively developing an internal pipeline of therapeutic candidates.

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Photo courtesy of Reuters/Andrew Kelly