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Venture Report: Versant revisits build-to-buy model with obesity play SixPeaks

ARTICLE | Finance

Plus: Progentos’ launch; series B rounds for AltruBio, Pheon and Grey Wolf; a series A for Vienna-based Ygion; and more

By Paul Bonanos, Director of Biopharma Intelligence

May 23, 2024 8:29 PM UTC

Build-to-buy deals mostly fell out of favor in the past several years, after being in vogue in the 2010s. This week, however, a Versant-backed start-up emerged with an obesity candidate, a series A round and an agreement that allows AstraZeneca to acquire the biotech upon submission of an IND.

Versant Ventures had nurtured SixPeaks Bio AG at its Basel, Switzerland-based incubator, Ridgeline, until its emergence from stealth on Thursday. The young company is developing an inhibitor of ACVR2A and ACVR2B that is designed to reduce body fat while sparing patients loss of muscle mass, an effect commonly seen with the fast-selling GLP-1 class. The biotech has created a second therapy by conjugating its ACVR2A/B inhibitor to a GLP-1 peptide…