Cancer drug developer, Cleave Biosciences Inc., has secured $10 million in Series A financing from new investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA), bringing the biotech’s total financing from this round to $54 million. The Burlingame, California-based company said it “will use the funds to move the company’s lead program into clinical trials and advance its second discovery program.”

Cleave Biosciences discovers and develops “novel small molecule therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers.” According to a news release, the company “has developed first-in-class drug candidates against novel targets in protein degradation pathways, including the ubiquitin proteasome and autophagy systems.” Cleave is also apparently “using molecular profiling approaches with the goal of identifying patient subsets most likely to benefit from each of its targeted drugs.”

CEO Laura Shawver said, “These targets Cleave is pursuing have the potential to have wide therapeutic impact for people who have cancers dependent on protein degradation for their survival. NEA joins us at an exciting time as we continue our progress to identify clinical candidates, as well as determine which subsets of cancers can best be addressed using the Cleave strategy.” See Cleave Biosciences News Release, April 9, 2013.