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Calithera Biosciences Secures $35 Million in Series D Financing

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Calithera Biosciences, a biotechnology company focused on the development of novel cancer therapeutics, today announced the successful completion of a $35 million Series D financing led by Adage Capital Partners, LP.  Joining Adage as new investors in this financing are the Longwood Fund and two other institutional investor groups.  Existing investors Morgenthaler Ventures, Advanced Technology Ventures and Delphi Ventures, who have funded the company through earlier rounds of financing, also participated in the transaction.  In conjunction with this financing, Christoph Westphal, MD, PhD, Partner and Co-Founder of the Longwood Fund, will join Calithera's Board of Directors as an observer.

Calithera will use the proceeds from the financing to accelerate the development of the company's lead clinical-stage candidate CB-839 through Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with advanced solid and hematological tumors.  CB-839 is a potent and selective orally bioavailable glutaminase inhibitor that blocks the growth and survival of many different types of cancer cells by interfering with their metabolism of glutamine.  Calithera will also continue to develop its pipeline of novel therapeutics, including an inhibitor of MCL-1, an anti-apoptotic BCL-2 homolog over-expressed in many cancers.

"With this strong support from new and current investors, we will advance CB-839 through an early set of clinical trials aimed at identifying specific populations of cancer patients with glutamine-dependent tumors that would benefit from treatment with CB-839," said Susan Molineaux, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Calithera Biosciences.  "CB-839 has demonstrated promising anti-tumor activity in a broad range of tumor types that depend on glutaminase for cell growth and survival.  We look forward to initiating clinical studies for CB-839."

"The Calithera team possesses an impressive track record in discovering and developing successful oncology drugs," said Christoph Westphal.  "Calithera's drug, CB-839, is an important new therapeutic candidate that has the pharmacological characteristics necessary to compete as a successful commercial oncology product.  We look forward to CB-839 and additional innovative pipeline candidates entering clinical trials and making significant contributions to the advancement of cancer therapy."

About Calithera Biosciences
Calithera is discovering and developing novel small molecule oncology therapeutics that inhibit pathways critical to tumor growth and survival.  The Calithera team has the experience and the ability needed to discover novel therapeutics and advance these discoveries through clinical development.  The company is applying this expertise to build a pipeline of anti-cancer compounds that are distinct from other oncology therapeutics.  Calithera's lead clinical candidate, CB-839, blocks glutaminase, an enzyme critical to tumor metabolism, and is poised to enter Phase 1 clinical testing.  Calithera Biosciences is a privately held company located in South San Francisco, CA.  For more information, please visit

SOURCE Calithera Biosciences
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