Four years after it was founded, Kymera Therapeutics said Thursday that it has now raised more than a quarter-billion dollars from investors keen on its potential approach to treat a range of diseases, including blood-based cancers.
The Cambridge biotech shared the total after announcing it had closed a third round of venture capital fund-raising that totaled $102 million. The privately held startup plans to begin clinical trials of at least three drugs by next year.
“We are at the cusp of transitioning between being a research organization to being a research and development organization,” cofounder and CEO Nello Mainolfi said. “Our goal is to become a fully integrated biotech company.”
Kymera wants to target currently untreatable diseases by using the body’s ability to break down and recycle proteins. Its approach, called Pegasus, is based on insights that led to the 2004 Nobel Prize in chemistry.
Kymera was cofounded by the Cambridge venture capital firm Atlas Venture.
The latest funding round brought in a slew of new investors, in addition to participation from most of the earlier investors.
The company has signed deals with Boston biotech Vertex Pharmaceuticals — which included a $70 million upfront payment — and GlaxoSmithKline. Vertex is working on using Kymera’s approach to treat a disease which neither company has disclosed. Vertex also was part of the new funding round.
“They are very excited about the collaboration, and it’s a testament to how they continue to believe in the company,” Mainolfi said.
Bruce Jacobs, Kymera’s chief financial officer, said the funding will sustain the company for at least the next two to three years.
The round was led by Biotechnology Value Fund and Redmile Group and included Wellington Management Co., Bain Capital Life Sciences, funds managed by Janus Henderson Investors and BlackRock, Rock Springs Capital, and a large US-based, health care-focused fund that was not named.
Kymera also received a strategic investment from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society that will go toward advancing the company’s work to treat blood-based cancers.
“Having this top-tier group of investors, these are some of the most coveted types of investors for this stage of the company,” Mainolfi said. “The goal of the financing was to increase the investor base, especially investors positioned to continue to support the company in future financing and in the public market.”
Kymera has 55 employees in Cambridge.