Black Diamond Therapeutics (BDTX) Announces Spinout of Launchpad Therapeutics, Inc., an Antibody-Focused Precision Oncology Company

December 12, 2022 8:05 AM EST

Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: BDTX), a precision oncology medicine company pioneering the discovery and development of MasterKey therapies, today announced the formation of Launchpad Therapeutics, Inc. (Launchpad), an antibody-focused precision oncology company, together with a $30 million Series A investment by founding investors, Versant Ventures and New Enterprise Associates (NEA).

In connection with the transaction, Black Diamond contributed undisclosed early discovery-stage antibody programs and granted Launchpad a license to use Black Diamond’s Mutation-Allostery-Pharmacology (MAP) Drug Discovery Engine to discover, develop and commercialize large molecule therapeutics. In exchange, Black Diamond received a minority ownership stake in Launchpad.

“The formation of Launchpad demonstrates the broad applicability of our MAP Drug Discovery Engine and computational expertise and provides further validation of our approach to precision medicine. By leveraging our MAP Drug Discovery Engine in new ways, Launchpad is positioned to disrupt the precision oncology and immunology drug discovery and development landscape,” said David Epstein, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Diamond. “We are pleased to partner with Versant and NEA to advance these concepts. The spinout allows Black Diamond to continue our focus on BDTX-1535, BDTX-4933 and small molecule pipeline, while retaining potential upside through our equity stake in Launchpad.”

Launchpad’s antibody pipeline will be enabled by Black Diamond’s custom-built cloud-based computational MAP Drug Discovery Engine, with a focus on oncogenicity prediction, biological validation, conformation-based drug design and antibody discovery. Launchpad will focus on the development of an initial set of early-stage antibody programs.

“By utilizing Black Diamond’s MAP Drug Discovery Engine, coupled with a team of highly experienced drug hunters, data scientists and machine learning experts, Launchpad is well positioned to deliver novel antibody drug design,” said Alexander Mayweg, Ph.D., Managing Director, Versant Ventures. “When we launched Black Diamond in 2018, the field of precision oncology was still in its early days. We believe that now is the right time to apply a further differentiated approach with Launchpad’s antibody focus and custom-built cloud-based computational pipeline.”

“The formation of Launchpad as a unique spinout from Black Diamond enables both companies to focus on their respective areas of expertise with the shared goal of addressing large numbers of targets and mutations for genetically defined cancers,” said Ali Behbahani, M.D., General Partner, NEA. “Launchpad’s approach furthers Black Diamond’s mission of bringing precision oncology medicine to a greater number of patients. We’re thrilled to partner with Versant and Black Diamond to support Launchpad and we look forward to the progression of this novel pipeline.”

About LaunchpadLaunchpad Therapeutics is focused on developing a portfolio of early mutant selective antibody programs enabled by AI-driven and structure supported drug design. Launchpad’s mission is to deliver novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) design from sequence, to structure, to function. Made up of a team of experienced drug hunters, computational scientists and simulation experts, Launchpad is positioned to unlock the value of early antibody projects spun out of Black Diamond Therapeutics’ MAP (Mutation-Allostery-Pharmacology) Drug Discovery Engine. Launchpad’s platform is able to uniquely deliver cancer cell specific antibodies.

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