Tectonic plates more than $130m in new funding and goes public

Reverse merger spawns new Nasdaq biotech developing GPCR therapeutics – Phase 1 trial already underway in pulmonary hypertension.

Tectonic Therapeutic, a biotech developing therapeutic proteins and antibodies that target G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), has successfully completed its merger with AVROBIO, Inc. The combined entity will operate under the name Tectonic Therapeutic, Inc., and its shares are set to begin trading today on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker symbol “TECX”.

Alongside the merger, Tectonic has also closed a $130.7 million private placement involving a consortium of new and existing investors, including a major mutual fund, TAS Partners, 5AM Ventures, EcoR1 Capital, Polaris Partners, Farallon Capital Management, Vida Ventures, the PagsGroup and other undisclosed investors. The company says the funding means it has approximately $181 million in cash, cash equivalentsmko and investments, which is projected to support the company’s plans until mid-2027.

“It’s an exciting time to be transitioning into a publicly-traded company,” said Dr Alise Reicin, CEO of Tectonic. “We believe we are strongly positioned to enter the public markets at this time, with a solid financial foundation, investor syndicate and leadership team, and with several potential catalysts over the next two years, setting the stage for meaningful value creation.”

Dr Alise Reicin is president and CEO of Tectonic.

GPCRs are significant targets in developing new therapies for a range of diseases, but some have been challenging to target with small molecules. Tectonic leverages its GEODe platform to create biologic medicines designed to overcome the challenges traditionally associated with GPCR-targeted drug discovery.

Potential in pulmonary hypertension

The company’s lead program, TX45, activates the RXFP1 receptor, a GPCR target of the hormone relaxin.  Relaxin, an insulin-like hormone, is known to have cardiovascular protective actions and potential in pulmonary hypertension, a condition for which aging is also a significant risk factor. The pharmacological profile of TX45, developed through Tectonic’s protein engineering capabilities, aims to address the limitations that have hindered previous attempts to develop relaxin-based therapies.

TX45 is currently undergoing Phase 1a/1b clinical trials as a potential treatment for Group 2 Pulmonary Hypertension with Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF), a condition that affects over 600,000 individuals in the US alone and currently has no approved therapies.

Reicin said that the company expects to enter Phase 2 trials “in the second half of this year.”

“Results from the ongoing Phase 1a clinical trial in this patient population are expected in mid-2024, to be followed by Phase 1b results expected in 2025 and results from the Phase 2 clinical trial expected in 2026,” she said.

In addition to TX45, Tectonic is advancing a program targeting Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), the second-most common genetic bleeding disorder, affecting approximately 70,000 people in the US. The company’s approach is also understood to hold promise for treating debilitating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, frontotemporal dementia, vascular dementia, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease.

In 2021, Tectonic raised $80 million in a Series A round, led by Vida Ventures, T.A. Springer, and Polaris Partners. The company was co-founded in 2019 by Drs Andrew Kruse and Timothy A. Springer, both professors at Harvard Medical School renowned for their work in membrane protein biochemistry and immunology.