Osage University Partners-backed PMV has pushed its funding total to $236m as it further commercialises Princeton research stretching back to 1979.

PMV Pharmaceuticals, a US-based small molecule cancer therapy developer built on foundational work at Princeton University, closed a $70m series D round on Monday that featured OrbiMed Advisors.

Avoro Capital, RA Capital Management, Wellington Management Company, Nextech Invest, Viking Global Investors and Boxer Capital, a biotech-focused fund run by Tavistock Group, also took part in the round.

Founded in 2013, PMV Pharmaceuticals is working on cancer drugs that trigger a biological protein called p53 that has for decades been known to prevent the spread of cancer by blocking the lifecycle of malignant cells, but which has previously remained intractable to researchers.

Misfolded p53 proteins can lose the ability to inhibit cancerous cells. PMV Pharmaceuticals aims to restore the mechanism to buy enough time for DNA to repair cancer-derived damage before new tumour cells are produced.

Tumour protein p53 was discovered by PMV co-founder Arnold Levine in 1979 while he was a professor in the biochemistry department at Princeton University. He has been professor emeritus at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study in 2011.

The series D cash is set to progress PMV Pharmaceuticals’ candidates toward the clinic and provide financial resources to help broaden out its therapeutic pipeline.

Nextech, Viking Global Investors and Boxer Capital co-led a $62m series C round for PMV Pharmaceuticals closed in November 2019 with participation from spinout-focused investment firm Osage University Partners (OUP), Topspin Partners, Euclidean Capital, InterWest Partners and OrbiMed Advisors.

PMV had already raised $74m of series B funding in 2017 led by Topspin’s Biotech Fund and backed by OUP, Euclidean Capital, InterWest Partners and OrbiMed, which had led the company’s $30m series A in 2014 with support from both OUP and InterWest.