Novo Holdings leads USD125m Series C round in Hummingbird Bioscience

Novo Holdings has led an oversubscribed USD125 million Series C financing in Hummingbird Bioscience (Hummingbird), a clinical-stage biotech company focused on developing precision therapies against difficult-to-drug targets to improve treatment outcomes. 

This is one of the first investments in a privately-held Asian biotech company by Novo Holdings. Novo Holdings recently established an Asian life sciences investment platform in Singapore, Novo Holdings Equity Asia Pte. Ltd (Novo Holdings Asia). Kenneth Harrison, Partner, Novo Ventures, will join Hummingbird’s board of directors.

Hummingbird, headquartered in Singapore and the US, is developing a broad pipeline of first- and best-in-class drug candidates across multiple indications for the treatment of cancer. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the clinical development of Hummingbird’s lead assets including HMBD-001, a potentially best-in-class HER3 antibody for NRG1-fusion and HER3-driven tumours, and HMBD-002, a potentially best-in-class anti-VISTA monoclonal antibody for advanced solid tumours. The funds will also be used to expand the capabilities of Hummingbird’s proprietary Rational Antibody Discovery platform and progress the development of its next-generation pipeline of precision therapeutics including HMBD-009, a BCMA-TACI dual-specific T cell engager.  
 
Kenneth Harrison, Partner, Novo Ventures, says: “Novo Ventures has tracked Hummingbird’s progress for several years and we are delighted to lead the financing and attract this global syndicate of diverse and sophisticated investors to enable the acceleration of the company’s clinical pipeline. We believe that Hummingbird’s novel data-driven, systems biology approach brings new precision to the field of antibody drug discovery and development and are proud to support the team in realising their vision.”
 
Piers Ingram, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Hummingbird, adds: “We are very pleased to have attracted a world-class syndicate of life science investors led by Novo Holdings. Over the past year we have expanded our team and solidified partnerships to enhance our capabilities and bring precision medicine to the core of everything we do. We would like to thank our new and existing investors for their support and confidence in our vision to revolutionise drug discovery and development through precision medicine. The Series C funding will propel and catalyse this goal of delivering precision therapies for elusive cancers and autoimmune diseases faster and better.”
 
Amit Kakar, Senior Partner, Head of Novo Holdings Asia, says: “Our investment strategy is to identify and invest in life science companies which are true leaders and innovators in their areas of expertise. Hummingbird has all these attributes with a highly experienced team and diverse pipeline of drug candidates. Having a presence in Singapore has been opportune in the process of evaluation and due diligence, culminating in one of our first Asian investments in an exciting company.”
 
The financing was led by Novo Holdings, with significant participation from new investors including Frazier Healthcare Partners, Octagon Capital, EDBI, AMGEN Ventures, DROIA Ventures, Morningside Ventures, Pureos Bioventures and Polaris Partners. Existing investors including SK Inc, Heritas Capital, and Mirae Asset Venture Capital also joined the round.