Abdera skyrockets out of stealth with $142M as radiopharmaceutical ambitions take flight

The nature of Abdera Therapeutics’ platform has elevated expectations that Big Pharma will be queuing up to launch licensing opportunities.

Lori Lyons-Williams has always been drawn to working in oncology. For the former Allergan leader and Neumora president, there are few opportunities more impactful than treating cancer—and tough-to-target solid tumors at that. 

So when given the chance to lead a startup with that very focus, she jumped aboard. Abdera Therapeutics launched Thursday with $142 million in combined series A and B funding to advance a fleet of radiopharmaceuticals, with an application to begin human trials slated to go before regulators sometime next year. The series A round was led by Versant Ventures and Amplitude Ventures, with the series B overseen by venBio Partners. 

Beyond the allure of leading a cancer-focused company, Lyons-Williams said Abdera’s early preclinical data are extremely compelling. 

“Having been in a couple of oncology companies on the board side, this is very different in terms of the mechanism of action, and you don’t have to squint your eyes to figure out if you had a response or not,” the CEO said in an interview with Fierce Biotech.