Kinase-Focused Deciphera Gets Marquee Backing for a big $75M Venture Round

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A little more than a year after Deciphera CEO Mike Taylor set up an office for the biotech in the Boston area, the cancer drug developer has rounded up whopping $75 million B round to make a clinical push for its top cancer drug candidates.

Marquee venture investor New Leaf Venture Partners stepped in to lead the big fundraising, joining a mystery investor who backed the company through the startup phase.

Taylor still won’t tip anyone off on who the angel backer in the background isbut he’s happy to explain the development plans the biotech has as it sets out to provide clear proof-of-concept data for the company’s kinase inhibition strategy.

Little-known Deciphera has a bigger pipeline than most oncology biotechs that are still at an early stage of development.

Deciphera’s big claim to fame is that it’s taking kinase inhibition and doing it two, or three or four, times better.

One of the big trends in cancer drug development in recent years is taking acombinatory approach to R&D, and Deciphera is doing that with a vengeance.

Its work is built closely on research work completed by Dan Flynn, a Millenniumvet who’s been operating far off biotech’s beaten track near the KU campus inLawrence, where he got his PhD and now works as an adjunct professor.

By targeting tumor cells as well as the tumor microenvironment, Decipherabelieves that it’s on a unique track to co-optAll these processes around to hide from the immune system,” says the CEO.

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