Cancer therapeutics accounted for most of the recent funding news. Immunology was represented too. Here’s a recap of the biotech startups that raised money in the past week.
—Synthetic biology company Evonetix raised $24 million, extending its Series B financing to $54 million. Cambridge, U.K.-based Evonetix has proprietary technology that enables speedy synthesis of thousands of DNA sequences on a single silicon chip. The company said it will use the new cash to bring its chips to commercial scale. The latest financing was led by Foresite Capital. Other investors include Molten Ventures, Morningside DCVC, Cambridge Consultants, Civilization Ventures, and Providence.
—Tilt Biotherapeutics unveiled €12 million in new capital, the final close of a financing that started with €10 million raised last June. Nearly half of the new cash comes from the European innovation Council. Helsinki, Finland-based Tilt is developing cancer treatments comprised of oncolytic viruses. These viruses come armed with molecules, such as cytokines that can stimulate or suppress T cells. Tilt says the ability of this approach to eliminate a tumor’s suppression of immune responses could enhance the effect of a wide range of immunotherapies.
Lead therapeutic candidate TILT-123 comes armed with two cytokines: TNF alpha and IL-2. The program is currently in Phase 1 testing. The University of Finland spinout says the new capital will support advancing the program into mid-stage clinical trials testing the oncolytic virus in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.
—Slingshot Biosciences raised $11 million in Series A3 financing for its on-demand synthetic cell platform, which can be used in diagnostics and therapeutics, such as cell and gene therapies. The company said the capital will support commercialization of its technology. Arch Venture Partners and Northpond Ventures led Slingshot’s latest financing.
—Alexandria Venture Investments led a $40 million financing for allergy biotech IgGenix. The South San Francisco-based biotech isolates and reengineers allergen-specific antibodies to prevent severe allergic reactions. IgGenix said the new capital, the first close of a Series B round, will support its lead program in peanut allergy as it advances toward Phase 1 testing. The cash will also support expansion of the technology platform to diseases beyond allergy. The latest financing added Eli Lilly as a new investor.
—Currently available cell therapies are personalized treatments made from a patient’s own immune cells. Off-the-shelf options are in development using cells sourced from healthy donors. Garuda Therapeutics is also developing off-the-shelf cell therapies, but its technology platform is based on self-renewing blood stem cells that don’t require a patient’s cells or donor cells. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup has raised $62 million to support cell therapies progressing to the clinic in blood disorders and cancers. The Series B financing was led by Northpond Ventures, OrbiMed Advisors, Cormorant Asset Management, and Aisling Capital.
—Faro Health, a company whose cloud-computing software is used in clinical trials, raised $20 million. The San Diego-based company says its technology provides insights into the design of clinical trial protocols, which achieves cost and time savings. General Catalyst led Faro’s latest financing.
—Prokarium, a company developing microbial immunotherapies to treat cancer, announced $30 million in new financing. The company says its therapies combine a proprietary strain of Salmonella with synthetic circuits to deliver diverse therapeutic cargo to treat cancer. London-based Prokarium will use its new cash to reach the clinic with its lead program, a potential treatment for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
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