A brand new neoantigen T-cell participant has launched with Neogene Therapeutics nabbing a serious $110 million sequence A.
The funding haul, a major sum for a primary spherical, was led by by EcoR1 Capital, Jeito Capital and Syncona with continued help from strategic seed buyers Vida Ventures, TPG and Two River.
And with the massive bucks come large names: The startup is co-founded by famend T-cell engineering skilled Ton Schumacher, Ph.D., the principal investigator on the Netherlands Most cancers Institute and a member of the Oncode Institute, and CEO Carsten Linnemann, Ph.D., with funding from cell remedy business veteran Arie Belldegrun, former Kite Pharma CEO and chair of fellow next-gen cell remedy biotech Allogene.
There’s some deep historical past right here, too, as each Linnemann and Schumacher beforehand co-founded T-Cell Manufacturing unit, an organization snapped up by Kite Pharma in 2015 (earlier than it’s eventual buy by Gilead).
And for seed buyers Vida Ventures, TPG and Two River, Neogene in reality marks the second main collaboration within the cell remedy house after the launch of Allogene Therapeutics again in 2018.
Neogene’s work, nonetheless preclinical, focuses on figuring out particular T cell receptor (TCR) genes from routine tumor samples utilizing state-of-the-art artificial biology instruments.
This contains DNA sequencing, DNA synthesis and genetic screening instruments that hunt down the neoantigen particular T-cell receptor genes inside tumor biopsies with excessive sensitivity, specificity and at scale. The remoted TCR genes are subsequently engineered into T cells of most cancers sufferers to supply massive numbers of potent T cells for remedy.
“Neogene is dedicated to forging a path for brand new absolutely personalised engineered T cell therapies in strong most cancers which might be redirected in the direction of neo-antigens discovered on most cancers cells,” stated Linnemann.
“Whereas engineered T cell therapies have remodeled the therapy paradigm for sufferers with hematologic malignancies, the business has struggled to translate this success to the big unmet want in sufferers with superior strong tumors.
“We imagine that via a completely individualized method utilizing patient-specific TCRs to focus on neo-antigens, engineered T cell remedy can turn into broadly accessible to those sufferers. We’re excited that our imaginative and prescient is shared by an excellent syndicate of marquee buyers, who’ve a deep understanding of and dedication in the direction of the event of novel cell therapies in oncology.”