San Diego-Based Erasca Raises $42 Million To Target Biological Drivers Of Cancer

By Amit Chowdhry ● December 19, 2018

Erasca, a San Diego, California-based company, has raised $42 million in Series A funding co-led by founding investors City Hill Ventures and Cormorant Asset Management. Additional institutional and individual investors also participated in this round.

With this round of funding, Erasca will develop a new generation of oncology drugs intended to treat and cure cancer. Currently, Erasca has multiple discovery programs underway for undisclosed targets that are known as the biological drivers of cancer.

“Cancer is a pervasive disease that has impacted nearly everyone I know in some way. Individuals continue to be seriously afflicted and in need of healing beyond what can be provided by available treatments,” said Erasca’s executive chairman and co-founder Jonathan E. Lim, M.D. in a statement. “Erasca was borne out of a mission to address this significant patient need and, one day, erase cancer. We recognize that this is an ambitious goal, as cancer is a formidable foe. But no mission worth taking is ever easy.”

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Photo Credit: Erasca

Dr. Lim has been a leader and founding investor of four other biotechnology startups that delivered novel therapies for the benefit of patients across the world since 2003. And Dr. Lim’s companies raised a combined $1 billion in capital and generated over $4 billion of shareholder value.

Most recently, Dr. Lim was the chairman, president, CEO and co-founder of Ignyta — which was acquired by Roche for $1.7 billion earlier this year. Dr. Lim also co-founded, funded, and led ventures like Bonti (acquired by Allergan), Eclipse Therapeutics (acquired by Bionomics) and Halozyme Therapeutics.

And Dr. Lim is also working as managing partner for City Hill Ventures, an investment company he founded in December 2010. And he is serving as a Venture Partner at ARCH Venture Partners.

Erasca is anticipating that it will disclose more about these programs as it moves into human clinical studies. And Erasca is also pursuing additional academic and biopharmaceutical collaboration opportunities.

“Founded on exciting new discoveries around key molecular drivers of cancer, and having assembled a team of executives with a legacy of multiple prior successes, Erasca is the company that stands an excellent chance of deftly overcoming multiple obstacles along this exciting, yet long, journey of bringing a breakthrough medicine to patients,” added Cormorant Asset Management portfolio manager Bihua Chen. “Tackling a mission this large requires a combination of passion for the patient and strong business acumen. Jonathan’s background as a physician and biotech company leader who has led multiple successful companies, along with the outstanding team he has assembled, position Erasca well in executing on its mission.”

Some of the other executives involved in Erasca include Gary Yeung, CFA, PMP — who is the chief business officer at the company. And Robert Shoemaker, PhD is the VP of Biology at Erasca.