Evergreen Theragnostics has raised $15 million in a Series B round, primarily from existing shareholders “exercising their rights of first refusal,” the cancer-focused firm based in Springfield, N.J., said Monday. In 2020, it raised $19 million in a Series A round.
Founded in 2019, Evergreen is a clinical-stage contract development and manufacturing organization focused on so-called radiopharmaceuticals. Its only named investor group is a band of 300 angels in Italy known as Club degli Investitori, according to Crunchbase. Club degli Investitori has invested over €43 million ($46 million) in 60 startups worldwide. Its portfolio companies have raised €2 billion.
New Research Unit
Together with the funding, Evergreen, which is led by founder and CEO James Cook, also announced the opening of a new business unit to focus on developing novel radiopharmaceuticals for cancer therapy. Called Evergreen Discovery, the division will be led by Dr. Thomas Reiner, a specialist in a form of radiation therapy called radioligand.
“Radioligand therapy is a new and exciting therapeutic modality, uniquely positioned to treat some of the most devastating types of cancer,” said Reiner, who has been named the company’s chief scientific officer. “Our team will innovate the way we treat these cancers, focusing on unprecedented and first-in-class radiopharmaceuticals.”
Reiner was previously head of radioligand therapy drug discovery at Advanced Accelerator Applications, a Novartis company. He also was former laboratory head and associate professor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
“Launching Evergreen Discovery represented the next logical step for us, and we are excited to have recruited Thomas as a leader of this new team,” said Cook, who has previously held senior executive positions at AAA and Siemens Healthineers. Evergreen Discovery will open a research facility in Princeton, N.J. in the third quarter.
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Evergreen said it would use part of the proceeds from the Series B round to prepare for the launch of Gallium-68 DOTATOC — a drug to treat rare forms of cancers called somatostatin receptor positive neuro-endocrine tumors (NETs) — subject to regulatory approval. The company submitted its new drug application for EVG-001 — a kit for preparation of Gallium-68 DOTATOC Injection — to the FDA last December. It has a target approval date of July 20.
“Gallium-68 DOTATOC imaging has been clinically used in Europe for well over a decade,” said Cook. Evergreen’s version of the drug builds on one developed at the University of Iowa and approved by the FDA in 2019.