Weight-loss drug developer Metsera raises $290 million in funding

By Thomson Reuters Apr 18, 2024 | 6:15 AM

By Pratik Jain

(Reuters) – Weight-loss drug developer Metsera has raised $290 million in funding, led by biotech investor ARCH Venture Partners as well as participation from firms such as SoftBank and Mubadala Capital, the company said on Thursday.

The funding comes at a time when multiple drug companies are competing to grab a slice of the weight-loss drug market, which is estimated by analysts to reach at least $100 billion by the end of the decade.

Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are so far leading with their powerful and highly popular new GLP-1 drugs Wegovy and Zepbound, respectively.

Metsera, founded in 2022 by venture capital firm ARCH Venture and investment firm Population Health Partners, is developing injectable and oral drugs to treat obesity, based on the GLP-1 mechanism as well as other biological targets.

The company’s GLP-1 portfolio is led by an injectable in early stages of trial.

“There are other great companies around as Viking on the injectable and oral side, as well as Structure on the small molecule side,” Chief Executive Officer Clive Meanwell said.

“I think our goal in the next 12 months is to attain those sorts of standards and milestones,” Meanwell told Reuters.

Metsera’s $290 million in funding is the total amount of capital raised to date from a syndicate of leading healthcare investors and is comprised of a seed round plus Series A financing, Meanwell said.

Meanwell declined to comment on the valuation the funding was raised on.

The funding participants include F-Prime Capital, GV, Mubadala Capital, Newpath Partners, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and other undisclosed investors.

Meanwell served as the CEO of The Medicines Company for nearly two decades, which was acquired by Swiss drugmaker Novartis for $9.7 billion in 2019.

He then founded Population Health in 2020 with former Pfizer CEO Ian Read.

(Reporting by Pratik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Vijay Kishore)