Cancer drug developer eFFECTOR Therapeutics has raised $38.6 million in venture capital funding, the San Diego biotech company said Monday.

The company’s technology modifies how proteins are manufactured according to instructions carried in DNA, a process called translation. The drugs it’s developing are called selective translation regulators, aimed at restoring normal function in processes that have gone awry in cancers.

The drugs are meant to stand on their own, as well as complementing other approaches to fighting malignancies in the burgeoning field known as cancer immunotherapy.

Pfizer Venture Investments led the Series C round, joined by other new investors, including Alexandria Venture Investments.

All the original investors participated, including U.S. Venture Partners, Abingworth, Novartis Venture Fund, SR One, The Column Group, Altitude Life Science Ventures, Sectoral Asset Management, Abbvie Biotech Ventures, BioMed Ventures, and Astellas Ventures.

In connection with the financing, Elaine Jones, vice president of Pfizer Venture Investments, joins the company’s board of directors.

The money will go for a number of projects. These include a Phase 2 (midstage) trial of eFFECTOR’s drug eFT508, encompassing a colorectal cancer study in combination with the immunotherapy drug avelumab, trade-named Bavencio. The trial is being conducted under a collaboration between the company, Pfizer and Merck KGaA.

Moreover, the financing will support single-drug research of eFT508 for some solid tumors to show mechanism of action and to show response in diffuse large B cell lymphoma, along with another study in solid tumors.

In addition, the proceeds will go to bringing another drug into the clinic in 2018. This drug, eFT226, blocks translation of certain oncogenes, including MYC, BCL2, cyclin D1 and CDKs 4/6.

Go to for more information on the company.

Leave a Comment