Immunitas Therapeutics has announced a $39 million Series A financing led by Leaps by Bayer and Novartis Venture Fund and joined by additional investors including Evotec, M Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, and other institutional investors. The company plans to use this funding to advance its first programs, monoclonal antibody therapeutics with single agent activity in preclinical models of oncology, to clinical studies.
Underlying the company's programs is the unique drug development platform crafted by the Immunitas team along with Aviv Regev (Professor of Biology and Core Member of the Broad Institute and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute) that dissects the microenvironment of human tumors using single cell genomics-based approaches to identify novel immune targets. The Immunitas platform has generated fully humanized antibodies that act on these targets, advancing to human efficacy studies driven by specific clinical biomarkers, and a breadth of promising druggable cancer targets.
The scientific founders of Immunitas are pioneers in studying the immunobiology of human tumors, including the use of single cell genomics-based techniques and antibody- development techniques:
- Kai Wucherpfennig M.D. Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School,
- Mario Suva M.D., Ph.D., an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital and at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and
- Dane Wittrup, Ph.D., the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Single cell genomic sequencing has tremendous promise to help unravel the interactions between immune cells and cancer cells in tumors to advance cancer drug development but focusing it appropriately to discover meaningful new targets based on human biology has been challenging, said Dr. Wucherpfennig. The Immunitas platform is designed to reveal novel and important adaptive and innate immune interactions with tumor cells, which may open up new possibilities in cancer therapy. My scientific co-founders and I look forward to continuing to work with the Immunitas team as they advance this powerful science.
Our scientific founders are pioneers in the field of single cell sequencing and analysis. They have extensive expertise in deep computational...