NEW YORK – NeoGene, a developer of personalized neoantigen T-cell therapies, announced Monday that it has raised $110 million in Series A financing.
The financing was led by Jeito Capital and new investors including EcoR1 Capital and Syncona, in addition to support from seed investors Vida Ventures, TPG, and Two River.
NeoGene will use the funds to further develop its proprietary technology for identifying and isolating specific T-cell receptor (TCRs) genes from patients' tumor samples. The company selects TCRs specific to mutated proteins in patients' cancer cells, and engineers their T cells to recognize and attack those cancer cells more precisely. The company has already demonstrated proof of concept for its neoantigen platform technology, and is now focused on using it to develop a range of personalized, neoantigen T-cell therapies for solid tumors.
NeoGene was founded in 2018 by cell therapy experts Carsten Linnemann and Ton Schumacher. Linnemann is CEO of NeoGene and Schumacher is principal investigator at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. They previously co-founded T-Cell Factory, a company Kite Pharma acquired in 2015.
"Neoantigens represent ideal targets for cancer therapy, as they inevitably arise from DNA mutations that enable tumor development in the first place," Schumacher said in a statement. "Further supporting this concept is clear, correlative evidence linking T cell reactivity against neoantigens with tumor regression in several patients. The Neogene platform makes it possible to exploit the neoantigen reactive TCRs that are present in [tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes] without a requirement for viable tumor material."
NeoGene will also use the raised funds to expand its presence in New York, Amsterdam, and Santa Monica, California.