Immatics Receives $58 Million in Financing to Develop T-Cell Receptor Based Immunotherapies
Tuebingen, Germany and Houston, Texas, October 4, 2017 – Immatics, a leading company in the field of cancer immunotherapy, today announced the completion of its Series E financing, raising $58 million.
The Series E funding was supported by existing investors including dievini Hopp Biotech holding, Wellington Partners, AT Impf GmbH and others. This latest financing was also strongly supported by new life science investors and Amgen, a world-leading biotechnology company and strategic partner of Immatics.
Immatics will use the proceeds of the Series E financing to:
• Progress its pipeline of adoptive cell therapies in a series of clinical trials. This will include the candidates IMA101, an ACTolog® endogenous T-cell therapy, and IMA201, an ACTengine® approach, based on transducing a patient’s own T-cells to express a tumor-specific exogenous T-cell receptor (TCR) and redirecting activated T-cells to the tumor sites.
• Continue to develop its pipeline of bispecific TCR candidates, with the aim to redirect and activate the T-cell response towards cancer cells expressing specific tumor targets.
• Continue the discovery and validation of novel tumor targets for cancer immunotherapy, using its world-leading XPRESIDENT® technology.
Peter Chambré, Chairman of Immatics, said: “We are very pleased to have been supported in this financing by our existing shareholders and a number of major new shareholders, including Amgen, with whom the Company signed a strategic collaboration earlier this year. During the period covered by this financing we expect to receive initial patient data from the current Immatics’ IMA101 and IMA201 adoptive cell therapy clinical trials, as well as commencing trials of further ACTengine® candidates.
We also expect to demonstrate proof of principle for our novel bispecific TCR candidates that, we believe, have significant potential in this emerging field. Immatics’ adoptive cell therapies and bispecific TCR candidates are tailored to address cancer targets identified and validated using XPRESIDENT®.”
About ACTolog® T-cell therapy
The ACTolog® concept is based on the principle of endogenous T-cell therapy pioneered by Professor Cassian Yee, M.D. Unlike tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, ACTolog® T-cell products are generated from peripheral blood cells with defined target selectivity. Utilizing its proprietary antigen discovery platform XPRESIDENT®, Immatics has created a warehouse of eight cancer targets. From this warehouse, the most suitable targets for each patient’s tumor are identified by analyzing the tumor biomarkers. Up to four personalized T-cell products are then activated and manufactured for each patient by isolation and enrichment of the patient’s endogenous T-cells in vitro. Billions of such activated and specific T-cells are then re-infused into the cancer patient to attack the tumor.
About ACTengine® T-cell therapy
The ACTengine® approach is based on genetically engineering a patient’s own T-cells to express an exogenous T-cell receptor (TCR) to recognize the cancer cell targets as identified by Immatics’ XPRESIDENT® platform. ACTengine® uses high-avidity and high-specificity exogenous TCRs identified from natural, human T-cell repertoires, which are introduced by viral vectors into patients’ T-cells essentially “reprograming” these to recognize and kill the tumor cells. The engineered T-cells are then grown up and reinfused back into the patient for treatment. Patients are eligible for ACTengine® cell therapy if the target of interest is present on the patient’s tumor as demonstrated by a biomarker diagnostics test.
About XPRESIDENT® Technology
XPRESIDENT® is the most sensitive, accurate and highest-throughput technology capable of identifying targets in virtually any type of cancer. This proprietary technology provides novel, highly-specific, and safe cancer targets that are pivotal for developing a range of powerful immunotherapies with the potential to cure cancer. The cancer targets identified by XPRESIDENT® are peptides presented by human leucocyte antigen (HLA) receptors on the surface of tumor cells. Classical antibody and CAR-T therapies are restricted to cell surface proteins, which constitute only about 20-25% of all available targets on a solid tumor. XPRESIDENT® unlocks all intracellular antigens, increasing the target space by more than 4-fold.
About Bispecific TCR Molecules
Bispecific T-cell receptor (TCR) molecules are biologics that leverage the body’s immune system by redirecting and activating the T-cell response towards cancer cells expressing specific tumor targets. Immatics’ best-in-class bispecific TCR molecules are soluble fusion proteins that have two binding domains: an affinity-maturated and highly selective TCR domain that recognizes and binds to a tumor-specific peptide target presented in the context of HLA class I receptor, and a T-cell recruiting antibody domain directed against CD3 or other immuno-modulating T-cell surface proteins. The design of these novel biologics allows T-cells to become activated and attack the tumor, regardless of the T-cells’ intrinsic specificity.
Download Press Release as PDF here