Decibel Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel restorative gene therapeutics to treat hearing loss and balance disorders, announced the closing of an oversubscribed Series D financing, which raised $82.2M. The financing was led by OrbiMed, with new investments from BlackRock Health Sciences, Casdin Capital, Janus Henderson, Samsara BioCapital, and Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company). Existing investors also participated in the financing, including Foresite Capital, GV, S-Cubed Capital, Sobrato Capital, SR One, Third Rock Ventures, and other institutional investors. In conjunction with the financing, the company has appointed Peter A. Thompson, MD, FACP, a partner at OrbiMed, to its board of directors.

Proceeds will be used in part to support clinical and preclinical studies needed to advance Decibel’s therapeutic pipeline. DB-OTO, Decibel’s investigational gene therapy to restore hearing in children with congenital deafness due to a deficiency in the otoferlin gene, is in preclinical studies, and Decibel expects to initiate clinical testing in 2022. The program, developed in collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, uses a proprietary, cell-selective promoter to precisely control gene expression in cochlear hair cells. DB-020, Decibel’s investigational drug candidate to prevent the ototoxicity associated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy, is in a phase 1B study in cancer patients, with initial human efficacy data expected in 2021.

Related article: Regeneron and Decibel Therapeutics Announce Strategic Collaboration

“Hearing and balance disorders have historically been overlooked by the biopharma industry, even though they exact a devastating toll on the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the globe. At Decibel, we are dedicated to restoring hearing and balance with precision therapeutics designed to deliver the right genetic medicine specifically to the right cells in the ear,” said Laurence Reid, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Decibel. “We are grateful to this group of outstanding investors for choosing to partner with us to advance this vision.”

“We believe Decibel has built an outstanding team and is developing a pipeline of important new medicines to treat conditions of the inner ear,” said Thompson. “OrbiMed is very pleased to support Decibel as they advance their pipeline and build a leading company in this important and emerging field.”

Source: Decibel Therapeutics