Johnson & Johnson, Novartis and Astellas all took part in the first close of a round for oncology therapy developer 28-7 Therapeutics that now stands at $82.8m.

US-based cancer drug developer Twentyeight-Seven (28-7) Therapeutics extended a series A round featuring pharmaceutical firms Astellas, Johnson & Johnson and Novartis to $82.8m yesterday.

Venture capital firm Sofinnova Partners led a $15m second tranche that included spinout-focused investment firm Osage University Partners.

The company had raised an initial $65m in September 2018, from investors including corporate venturing vehicles Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Astellas Venture Management and Novartis Venture Fund.

Novartis Venture Fund co-led the first tranche with healthcare investment firm MPM Capital, investing alongside backers including Singaporean state-owned VC firm Vertex Ventures and company builder and VC investor Longwood Fund.

Founded in 2016, 28-7 is developing a therapeutic platform targeting RNA-modulating proteins, focusing on non-coding RNAs linked to the generation, progression and metastasis of cancer.

The company’s technology extends work pioneered by four researchers at Harvard University’s Harvard Medical School: George Daley, Richard Gregory, Frank Slack and Piotr Sliz.

The additional series A funding will help accelerate 28-7’s existing drug development programs while also driving work on its underlying technology and efforts to seize new therapeutic opportunities. Sofinnova Partners managing partner Henrijette Richter will join its board of directors.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister site, Global University Venturing.