MARSEILLE, France—ImCheck Therapeutics SAS has announced the closing of a $53 million (€48 million) Series B financing round. The company is developing a first-in-class antibody to activate gamma delta (gd) T cells in a range of cancer indications and a portfolio of novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases
“We believe that furthering the understanding of gd T cell activation could provide the basis for an area of research that could have tremendous potential for treating patients with certain cancers and autoimmune diseases, and we are pleased to be co-leaders in this financing round,” said Michael Baran, Ph.D., MBA, principal, Pfizer Ventures and executive director, External Science & Innovation, Pfizer Inc.
The financing round was co-led by Pfizer Ventures, the venture capital arm of Pfizer, and Bpifrance through its InnoBio 2* and Large Venture funds. The round was joined by new investors Wellington Partners, Agent Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments.
“We are very pleased to add these top tier institutional and strategic investors from both the US and EU in the closing of our Series B financing,” noted Debasish Roychowdhury, M.D., chairman of the ImCheck board of directors. “We believe this investment represents a strong validation of our pipeline and its potential both in cancer and autoimmune diseases.”
Life Sciences Partners (LSP), Gimv, Idinvest Partners, Kurma Partners and Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund all contributed to the 2017 €20 Million Series A round, and also participated for a significant portion of this raise.
“ImCheck has produced a pipeline of first-in-class immuno-modulatory antibodies targeting gd T cells and built a world-class drug development organization with a significant potential to expand the current immune-modulatory arsenal against cancer,” added Thibaut Roulon, Ph.D., investment director at Bpifrance.
The proceeds of the Series B will be used to fund the initial clinical trial for ImCheck’s first-in-class monoclonal antibody ICT01, to expand ImCheck’s broad pipeline of immunomodulators targeting the butyrophilins super-family, and to bring additional immuno-oncology antibody programs into the clinic.
“ImCheck’s first clinical trial starting next year with ICT01 is based on comprehensive translational research supporting its potential to activate gd T cells to kill malignant cells,” stated said Pierre d’Epenoux, chief executive officer of ImCheck Therapeutics. “The Series B funding, bringing the total capital raised in 2.5 years to nearly $80 million, allows us to accelerate the development of our unique immuno-oncology pipeline, further investigate the potential of our antibodies in autoimmune disease, and establish clinical operations and corporate development activities in the US.”
ImCheck’s board of directors will transition to include Baran, Roulon, Regina Hodits from Wellington, Rémi Droller from Kurma, Vincent Brichard from LSP, Bram Vanparys from Gimv, Roychowdhury as independent Chairman and d’Epenoux.