Frazier Healthcare Partners closed Frazier Life Sciences X LP, the company’s third fund, by exceeding its target with more than $617 million in capital commitments in an oversubscribed fundraiser.
Frazier Life Sciences X will invest in company creation, early stage venture and private/public opportunities. Two-thirds of its investments are expected to be in seed and series A rounds. The total capital raised by Frazier is nearly $4.8 billion since the group’s creation in 1991.
As the years rolled by, the amounts Frazier Healthcare raised for its funds has increased. In November 2017, Frazier closed Frazier Life Sciences IX LP, the firm’s second dedicated life sciences fund, exceeding its target with approximately $419 million in capital commitments. Like its successor, the fund targeted two-thirds of its investments in seed and series A financings for use 12 months prior to the clinic to commercial stage.
In 2015, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company closed its eighth round, a $262 million tool for finding and funding early stage therapeutics companies. It was the firm’s first sector-specific fund and drew most of its money from existing investors.
Frazier has 100 companies in its portfolio that have 29 drugs approved by the FDA in the past 10 years. It has created or seeded 23 companies since 2005, while focusing on the U.S., Canada and Europe.
More than 14 approved therapeutics have originated from Frazier-backed companies since 2010, including Gilead Sciences Inc.'s Zydelig (idelalisib), Merck & Co. Inc.'s Zerbaxa (ceftolozane/tazobactam) – developed by Calixa Therapeutics Inc. before it sold to Merck-acquired Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. – Cerexa Inc.-developed Teflaro (ceftaroline fosamil), Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Ofirmev (acetaminophen injection) and Alza Corp.-developed Ionsys.
Gritstone Oncology Inc. has benefitted from Frazier’s seeding since late 2015, when it was part of a $102 million series A round. Using a tumor biopsy, Gritstone’s platform is designed to predict tumor-specific antigens and develop therapies to use them to turn the immune system against its tumors.
In December, Gritstone reported promising early immunogenicity activity and safety data from its phase I GRANITE trial using its personalized immunotherapy of 20 tumor-specific antigens for treating advanced cancer. The GO-004 study showed that CD8+ T cells against multiple neoantigens were observed via IFN-g ELISpot in four patients. The T cells were able to produce IL-2 and Granzyme B.
Also in December, data for Gritstone’s off-the-shelf immunotherapy of 20 tumor-specific neoantigens, SLATE, for treating advanced cancer, also in a phase I trial, showed the therapy was well-tolerated with no dose-limiting toxicities observed in three patients across two dose levels.
Frazier Healthcare was an investor in Tarsus Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s $60 million series B financing announced Jan. 8. Privately held Tarsus plans to use the money to begin a phase IIb/III trial of its lead product, TP-03, for treating demodex blepharitis, and to jumpstart two other clinical programs.
In September, Frazier was part of Passage Bio Inc.’s $110 million series B. Privately held Passage, of Philadelphia, is developing a portfolio of AAV-delivered therapeutics to treat rare monogenic CNS diseases. Frazier is one of the existing investors who participated in the financing. The round was led by Access Biotechnology.
Rather than develop vonoprazan in the U.S., Europe and Canada on its own, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. decided in May to spin the drug out into a new company, Phathom Pharmaceuticals Inc., with Frazier’s help. Through the licensing deal, Takeda got an undisclosed up-front cash payment and equity in Phathom and is eligible for milestones payments and royalties on net sales of the drug. Phathom was established with a $90 million private financing led by Frazier. Phathom priced its IPO on Oct. 24 at $19 per share; shares (NASDAQ:PHAT) closed at $36.05 each on Jan. 16.
The newest addition at Frazier is Bruce Roth, who became a senior advisor to the Life Sciences group the first week in January. Roth brings drug discovery and R&D experience from Genentech Inc. and was vice president of chemistry at Pfizer Global Research and Development’s Ann Arbor, Mich., laboratories.