Mediar Therapeutics raises $105M to advance fibrosis drugs

March 15, 2023

Mediar Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based biotech that focuses on fibrosis, announced a $105 million financing round backed by pharma giants Novartis, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Bristol Myers Squibb.

The company is hoping to advance a portfolio of first-in-class therapies that could potentially halt or reverse the course of fibrosis. Founded on research from Mass General and Brigham and Women's Hospitals, the company's portfolio includes three targets that are detectable in blood and correlate to disease severity. The series A financing will fund the advancement of these antibody treatments, which Mediar claims offer the potential to address fibrosis at different stages of the disease. 

Fibrosis, also known as fibrotic scarring, refers to the formation of permanent scar tissue resulting from abnormal wound healing in connective tissues. Because it can occur in many tissues in the body and idiopathically, fibrosis contributes to 45 percent of deaths in the industrialized world. Mediar is hoping to target fibrotic mediators that drive disease progression to slow down disease, with two programs advancing into human studies in 2024.  Its lead program focuses on WISP-1, a protein that has been found to have unregulated activity in fibrotic tissue. 

The $105 million financing included a recent $85 million Series A round co-led by Novartis Venture Fund and Sofinnova Partners and with participation from Pfizer Ventures, Mission BioCapital, Gimv, Pureos, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly & Company, Ono Venture Investment and Mass General Brigham Ventures. 

Mediar’s leadership team includes some pharma veterans like chief scientific officer Paul Yaworsk, who joined the company after 21 years of working in immunology and inflammation research for Pfizer.