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June 1, 2018

CAMP4’s trek to speed drug discovery and treat disease through prediction

We’re proud to share some exciting news from the Polaris portfolio: CAMP4 Therapeutics has officially launched with a $30 Million Series A round to pursue its mission of finding a treatment option for every disease. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and joined by Polaris and the Kraft Group.

Camp4 sits at the exciting intersection of novel insights into human biology and the promising speed computation brings to drug discovery. It also unites the distinct disciplines of Polaris repeat entrepreneurs Rick Young (MIT/Whitehead, co-founder Syros Pharmaceuticals) and Leonard Zon (Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard University, co-founder of Fate Therapeutics and Scholar Rock). Two years ago at a Polaris gathering, we watched as Rick and Len riffed around the interesting overlap of their two respective expertises: Rick in gene regulation and Len’s insights as an MD into systems biology and signaling. The hypothesis was that collectively these two areas could provide a deep understanding into the specific genes responsible for disease pathology, and together with computation could power rapid identification of targets for treatment.

The result is CAMP4 and its proprietary 4D Gene Circuitry Platform, which it is combining these discoveries to map every disease gene in the body, starting with the liver. The grand vision is that not only can CAMP4’s maps be used to find treatments for existing disease, but with the cost of genome sequencing going down rapidly, one day you could imagine each of us would have our genomes sequenced to understand our specific genetic risks of disease—and ultimately treat them through prediction.

At Polaris, our perspective is that the hard work of understanding how to better treat disease is progressing every day inside the best labs in the world. We also believe deeply in making big, game-changing plays toward problems that are sorely in need of solving. CAMP4 is a great example of this philosophy in action. We were proud to partner with Rick and Len in uniting their expertise and world-class labs to seed this company. Many people across the Polaris family contributed to this effort, including Paulina Hill,—who helped launched the company and took on the initial CEO role—Michael Higgins, and Amir Nashat. All of this provided the groundwork to ultimately bring in CEO Josh Mandel-Brehm, who through years in business development at the likes of Biogen and Sanofi Genzyme brings just the right perspective to help CAMP4 achieve its mission through creative partnerships. At Polaris we also believe deeply in the power of syndicate investing and excited to have the complementary expertise of Andreessen as the lead investor in this A round.

Collective understanding of the molecular causes of disease has grown immensely over the past 20 years, but continued innovation is needed to more efficiently translate those into treatments that make it into the hands of patients. We are excited to see CAMP4 launch to ultimately give so many a big leg up in the mountain-climbing effort that is treating and preventing disease.

Congrats all!

-The Polaris Healthcare team

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