|immatics CEO Paul Higham|
Though the cancer vaccine field has seen more setbacks than successes, some companies are forging ahead with ambitious plans to push their therapeutics toward regulatory approval.
One of those, Germany's immatics, just wrapped up a Series D financing round, bringing in €22 million ($29.8 million) after scooping up an initial €12 million ($16.2 million) in October and a partnering pact with Roche ($RHHBY) in November.
Investors dievini Hopp Biotech holding, Wellington Partners, AT Impf GmbH and others contributed to the latest fundraising, which will help fund the immunotherapy developer's ongoing Phase III trial of its cancer vaccine IMA901 in patients with renal cell carcinoma. IMA901 contains 10 different tumor-associated peptides that are commonly overexpressed in renal cell carcinoma.
The trial is studying overall survival with IMA901 in combination with sunitinib--marketed by Pfizer ($PFE) as Sutent--a current standard first-line therapy, compared with sunitinib alone in patients with metastatic or locally advanced renal cell carcinoma. The company expects to release final data from the study in 2015.
The financing round will also allow immatics to invest in its XPRESIDENT platform, designed to identify tumor-associated peptides directly from patients' tumors. As part of the company's Human Immunopeptidome Program, immatics will use XPRESIDENT to find hundreds of novel targets for common types of cancer.
So far, many experimental therapies have only showed modest increases in survival, but immatics believes its tumor-associated peptide technology could provide a more targeted, individualized approach.
- read the press release