Developing therapeutics against novel, tumor-selective targets and co-target pairs using bispecific antibodies

Series A proceeds fund advancement of the Company’s lead programs to clinical readiness and the identification of additional candidates

Dr. Raman, a seasoned industry veteran previously of Novartis and Flagship Pioneering, joins as CEO to advance InduPro pipeline

SEATTLE, WA and CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA I June 13, 2024 I InduPro, Inc., a biotechnology company defining protein spatial relationships to create novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, today announced an $85 million Series A financing co-led by The Column Group and Vida Ventures with participation from investors, including MRL Ventures Fund (the therapeutics-focused venture fund of Merck & Co, Inc.), Emerson Collective and Euclidean Capital. The financing will support the advancement of the first expected clinical product candidate targeting cancer tissue based on the proximity of co-targeted pairs, from preclinical development to an expected IND filing in Q4 2025 for a Phase 1 clinical trial. It will also fuel a pipeline of novel bispecific antibodies and antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) that utilizes protein proximity for identification of novel tumor selective target pairings.

Prakash Raman, Ph.D. joins as Chief Executive Officer of InduPro with more than two decades of biopharmaceutical business development and executive leadership experience, blending his scientific background, program and portfolio management and strong business development experience to lead and support biopharma companies.

InduPro therapeutically targets cell surface proteins in a variety of disease contexts by leveraging inherent or induced protein proximity. Through precise mapping of protein neighborhoods using its proprietary, high resolution proximity labeling technology, the Company is discovering novel co-target pairs that are highly selective for specific disease biology. Additionally, since protein proximity influences signals in cells that are critical for cellular health, proximity can be induced to modify cellular signaling and interactions in disease. InduPro’s approach relies on a unique discovery engine (ProXiMATE) to generate potential first-in-class and best-in-class novel therapeutic candidates across multiple indications and modalities.

“Our team is highly focused on precisely defining the spatial proximity of proteins on the surface of cells with high therapeutic potential across a broad range of indications and applications,” said Dr. Raman. “Instead of a limited subset of targets with known disease biology, we are discovering novel targets and best-in class approaches for areas of high unmet need for many cancer and autoimmune patients.”

The lead bispecific ADC program uses the Company’s Tumor Associated Proximity Antigen (TAPA) therapeutic approach to specifically target cancer tissue based on the proximity of co-targeted pairs discovered. In a separate ‘immunological synapse modulation’ approach, multi-specific antibodies are directed against targets whose induced proximity recruits and activates (or sequesters) proteins on the surface of immune cells in the treatment of autoimmune disease or immuno-oncology.

“Our approach provides unique insight into novel targets and mechanisms of biology by which to target and manipulate disease biology. This approach creates high patient impact and enables our first- and best-in class programs,” said Scott Lesley, Ph.D., President & Chief Scientific Officer. “Our ProXiMATE platform leverages deep learning analysis of protein microenvironment and membrane proteomic data to create an extensive knowledge base of highly-tuned protein proximity maps that continually generate novel and high-value tumor selective targets for ADCs and T cell engagers.”

“We are delighted that InduPro’s unique discovery engine is driven and supported by a talented team led by Prakash and will provide a strong foundation for a robust pipeline of potentially transformative therapeutics with opportunities for expansion and partnership,” said Sarah Hymowitz, Ph.D., partner at The Column Group and Board Chair of InduPro. “We look forward to collaborating with the InduPro team to bring novel and highly promising therapies to patients living with a wide range of cancers and autoimmune diseases.”

Dr. Raman previously served as President and CEO of Ribon Therapeutics, a biotech company focused on first-in-class small molecule drugs for Oncology and Immunology targeting the PARP family of enzymes. Prior to joining Ribon, Dr. Raman was a Senior Partner, Chief Business Development Officer at Flagship Pioneering, and held senior roles at Novartis for nearly 14 years, most recently as Vice President, Global Head of Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) Business Development and Licensing. Dr. Raman completed his undergraduate work at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and received his Ph.D. in Organic and Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Formed in 2022 by Scientific Founder and recent Passano Award winner Chris Garcia, Ph.D., CSO Scott Lesley, Ph.D., and inventors of the protein proximity-based mapping technology, Rob Oslund Ph.D. and Niyi Fadeyi Ph.D., InduPro is led by a dedicated Board of Directors that includes Sarah Hymowitz, Ph.D., Board Chair from The Column Group, Helen Kim and Rajul Jain, M.D. from Vida Ventures, Peter Dudek, Ph.D. from MRL Ventures Fund, Rahul Ballal, Ph.D. CEO from Mediar Therapeutics, Craig Parker CEO from Surrozen, and InduPro CEO Prakash Raman, Ph.D.

About InduPro
InduPro is a biotechnology company defining and harnessing inherent and induced proximity biology to unlock next-generation therapeutics in cancer and autoimmune diseases. The Company develops therapeutics against novel, tumor-selective targets and co-target pairs using bispecific antibodies including antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) and T cell engagers (TCEs), fueling a robust pipeline of first- and best-in-class programs. To learn more, visit

About The Column Group
The Column Group is a leading venture capital firm based in San Francisco that seeks to partner with exceptional scientific founders, entrepreneurs, executives, and investment organizations with a shared vision for building the next generation of drug discovery and development companies. TCG invests in disease-focused drug discovery companies with the potential to become leaders in their respective fields. These companies are strongly supported by the unique and complementary skill sets of TCG’s team, which includes prominent authorities in the scientific, operational, and financial arenas.

About Vida Ventures
Vida Ventures is a next-generation life sciences investment firm founded by scientists, physicians, entrepreneurs and investors passionate about building and funding breakthroughs in biomedicine. Together they form an independent, bold investment group bound together by a simple word – life. Its mission is to bring science to life and advance transformative biomedical innovations that have the potential to make a meaningful difference for patients. Vida has a bicoastal presence and currently has approximately $1.8 billion under management.

About MRL Ventures Fund
MRL Ventures Fund (MRLV) is the therapeutics-focused corporate venture fund of Merck & Co., Inc., with headquarters in Rahway, N.J., USA. From its headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., USA, the MRLV team invests globally in early-stage innovative therapeutics companies that are developing transformative medicines in any therapeutic area using any modality. The MRLV team of experienced life-sciences venture capital professionals is committed to supporting great entrepreneurs in their quest to create value through building companies that have a meaningful impact on health and disease. For more information, please visit: