With focus on fibrosis, startup Mediar draws big pharma backing

Mediar Therapeutics, a biotechnology startup developing treatments for fibrosis, has drawn the attention of four of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, which joined several venture firms in investing $85 million into the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company.

Novartis’ venture fund and Sofinnova Partners co-led a Series A round that Mediar announced Wednesday. The financing also involved Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Bristol Myers Squibb, suggesting drugmakers’ continued interest in fibrosis drug research.

Launched in 2019, Mediar aims to “reframe the biology” of fibrosis, a broad term referring to tissue scarring in a range of diseases. The startup is developing three antibody drug candidates targeting fibrosis of the liver, lungs and kidney, and aims to begin clinical testing in 2024.

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