An oncology company spearheaded by big names in biotech, but shrouded in ambiguity raised $261 million in new funding, according to STAT News.
The mysterious startup Treeline Biosciences was founded by oncology veteran Josh Bilenker, who previously worked in the oncology division of the Food and Drug Administration before founding another biotech company Loxo Oncology that sold for $8 billion to pharma giant Eli Lilley in 2019.
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Treeline Biosciences has raised around $473 million in total, according to STAT News’ reporting on SEC filings. Investors include Rock Springs Capital, OrbiMed, Access Industries and ARCH Venture Partners.
Despite the healthy influx of funding, Treeline Biosciences has yet to announce any solid drug candidate, but does refer to itself as an oncology company on LinkedIn.
“While we’ve made significant progress in building the pipeline we envisioned at company formation, we are a team that wants our data to do the talking,” the company said in a blog post. “We are excited for the day when we provide scientific disclosure that has clear implications for patients with cancer and other serious diseases. That day is not today.”
The company said it hired around 130 people across its stations in California, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Cancer funding continues to grow
The economic downturn hardly touched cancer funding. Startups in the oncology space have seen more than $6 billion in funding so far this year, which is higher than all oncology funding in 2019 (the year before COVID-19 fueled two years of unprecedented growth in biotech).
Treeline’s $261 million Series A is the second largest fundraise this year as of date of publication, after multinomics platform Freenome raised $290 million back in January. That’s impressive growth for a company in this economic market. It also highlights the power of being a biotech veteran navigating a tough niche in tech.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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