Immatics Receives $58 Million in Financing to Develop T-Cell Receptor Based Immunotherapies - EMG # Immatics Receives$58 Million in Financing to Develop T-Cell Receptor Based Immunotherapies

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Allergy & Immunology
5 Mins

Tuebingen, Germany and Houston, Texas, USA, 04 October, 2017 – 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®.”

Immatics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company spearheading the development of advanced immunotherapies that are active against multiple cancer indications. Based in Tuebingen, Germany, and Houston, Texas, the company has recognized that novel, better and safer targets are the key to developing future cancer immunotherapies. Immatics has revolutionized the identification and qualification of novel, proprietary and tumor-specific peptide antigens (TUMAPs) by developing its world-leading T-cell receptor (TCR) and target discovery platform XPRESIDENT®. TUMAPs significantly expand the target space for immune-oncology as they are not limited to surface proteins, which are the targets of classical antibodies or CAR-T therapies. Immatics believes that, by using its proprietary expertise, it can unlock the significant potential of immune-oncology drugs, such as adoptive cellular therapies, biologicals and vaccines to improve the treatment of a wide range of cancers.

Immatics’ pipeline includes several bispecific TCR molecules and T-cell therapy programs, including ACTolog® and ACTengine® which are developed in collaboration through Immatics US with MD Anderson, and co-funded by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). By using its world-leading target and TCR discovery expertise, Immatics aims to deliver safer, best-in-class immunotherapies to cancer patients with high medical need in multiple indications.

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.

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.