Star Therapeutics emerges from stealth mode raising $100M in financing since inception to be an innovation engine for rare disease therapies

Drug discovery approach uncovers novel biology for treatments that can target multiple diseases with a single therapy.

Star Therapeutics has formed a family of companies, and Electra Therapeutics is the first to be spun out with a lead monoclonal antibody in Phase 1 clinical development.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, February 16, 2022 – Star Therapeutics has emerged from stealth mode today to reveal its pioneering approach to drug discovery and development in rare diseases and to spin out Electra Therapeutics, the first in its family of companies.

Star is applying expertise in rare diseases and antibody drug discovery to generate drug programs that target multiple diseases with a single therapy. All of the company’s current drug programs represent first-in-class therapies and were internally generated, starting from early discovery efforts by its experienced team. To support this innovation engine, Star has raised over $100 million in financing since its inception in 2018 from Westlake Village BioPartners, OrbiMed, Redmile Group, Cormorant Asset Management, RA Capital, Cowen Healthcare Investments, and New Leaf Venture Partners.

“We founded Star to address the significant unmet needs across the approximately 7,000 rare diseases for which there are only about 650 FDA-approved drugs, leaving inadequate treatment options for millions of patients globally. We saw a tremendous opportunity for our team of drug hunters and drug developers to unlock the limited understanding of the underlying biology and develop therapies that can target multiple diseases at once,” said Adam Rosenthal, PhD, CEO and Founder of Star. “It is rewarding to see our strategy achieve success with our clinical-stage drug program in Electra, the first in our family of companies that we have unveiled today.”

Star’s initial focus has yielded numerous antibody programs at Electra for diseases in immunology and immuno-oncology, including a lead program that has rapidly progressed into Phase 1 clinical studies. Star is planning to introduce a second company, focused on rare hematologic diseases in the near future.

“Star has a highly accomplished team with a track record for uncovering disease biology and discovering novel antibodies, as I know firsthand from working alongside several members of the team who discovered and developed sutimlimab, which was recently FDA-approved as a first-in-class treatment for a rare hematologic disease.,” said Nancy Stagliano, PhD, Executive Board Chair of Star. “This team’s ingenuity in understanding disease biology combined with world-class antibody development expertise has rapidly advanced initial ideas for drug programs, including one already in the clinic, and shows great promise for creating new medicines for patients.”

Star’s management team has decades of experience developing novel therapies, whose members include:

  • Adam Rosenthal, PhD – CEO and Founder
    (True North, iPierian, The Boston Consulting Group)
  • Sandip Panicker, PhD – CSO
    (Sanofi, Bioverativ, True North, iPierian, Roche)
  • Gary Patou, MD – CMO
    (True North, Pacira, Chiasma, Peplin, GSK)
  • Kathy Dong, PharmD, MBA – COO
    (Sanofi, Bioverativ, True North, Gilead)
  • Michelle Carpenter, JD, RAC – EVP, Head of Regulatory and Project Management
    (Sanofi, Bioverativ, True North, Afferent, Acucela, Santen, Dey)
  • Jeremy Boucher, CPA – VP, Head of Finance
    (NGM Bio, Raptor, KPMG)

Star’s Board consists of Beth Seidenberg, MD, Founding Managing Director at Westlake Village BioPartners; Carl Gordon, PhD, CFA, Managing Partner at OrbiMed; Vijay Lathi, Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners; Nancy Stagliano, PhD, Executive Board Chair, and Adam Rosenthal, PhD, CEO and Founder of Star. Star’s Board observer is Amrit Nagpal, Managing Director at Redmile Group.

About Star Therapeutics

Star Therapeutics is a biotechnology company with a mission to develop life-changing therapies for as many rare diseases as possible for the millions of patients who lack effective treatment options. The company’s engine for innovation starts with identifying multiple rare diseases that share a common biology and then discovering novel therapeutics that can treat these diseases with a single therapy. Star consists of a family of companies, each focused on a specific area of biology with first-in-class therapies that each target multiple diseases. Star is backed by leading life sciences investors and located in South San Francisco. For more information, please visit Star Therapeutics and follow us on Twitter @STAR_Biotech and LinkedIn.


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