Character Biosciences raises $18 million in funding for AMD therapy development

The company, formerly known as Clover Therapeutics, intends to use the funding to advance two lead drug candidates that target molecularly-defined AMD patient subtypes.

Character Biosciences announced Tuesday that it has raised $18 million in a new investor-led funding round in support of accelerating the buildout of clinical genomic platforms in dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and two other genetically defined indications.

This latest round of funding is led by Innovation Endeavors, along with life science investors Section 32 and Catalio Capital. Also included are returning seed investors LifeForce Capital, Casdin Capital, Clover Health, Industry Ventures, and Cantos Ventures, according to a news release.

The company, formerly known as Clover Therapeutics, intends to use the funding to advance two lead drug candidates—which target molecularly-defined AMD patient subtypes— that have achieved in vivo proof of mechanism. The candidates were discovered and developed by the company.

As a prescience medicine platform, Character Biosciences strives to unlock the patterns of age-related chronic progressive diseases such as AMD.

The company is focused on building best-in-class clinical genomic databases to understand real-world disease behavior and develop drugs for patients with limited treatment options.

The company’s approach integrates genomics, longitudinal clinical and imaging data, machine learning, and novel experimental approaches to identify the molecular drivers of disease progression and develop innovative targeted medicines, according to the release.

Vivek Garipalli, CEO of Clover Health, which incubated Character, said in a statement that the company is tackling key challenges faced by the aging population by leveraging a diverse patient community and longitudinal medical data.

 “Their approach of embracing complexity in disease and diversity in patients will drive more efficient drug discovery and development and improve lives for patients with huge unmet needs – a mission that’s near and dear to us at Clover,” Garipalli said, in the release.