Platform Play: Avila Therapeutics

Launching a Smart Chemistry Discovery Platform

Backdrop: Avila Therapeutics grew from a bold vision for how the systematic discovery of targeted covalent enzyme inhibitors could shape medicine by durably silencing protein function. Founded at a time when Pharma was skeptical of covalent drugs, the company was conceived as a “big science, smart chemistry” startup.

Atlas’ Role: Founder Jus Singh introduced Atlas to the company concept and Atlas joined the $21 million Series A financing. We helped recruit serial Atlas executives Daniel Lynch as executive chair and Katrine Bosley as chief executive officer, and invested in the $30 million Series B round. The Avila team rapidly brought its lead program into Phase 1b trials and achieved proof-of-concept in patients with advanced tumors.

Today: Avila was acquired by Celgene for $350 million upfront and up to $575 million in future milestones. Multiple programs are advancing, including a Phase 2 Btk program.