NEW YORK – Obsidian Therapeutics on Thursday said it has raised $115 million in a Series B financing round that it plans to put toward advancing cytoTIL15, an engineered tumor infiltrating lymphocyte, or TIL, treatment, into clinical trials for solid tumors beginning with metastatic melanoma.
The Column Group Crossover Fund (TCGX) led the financing round, which also included existing investors such as Atlas Ventures and Bristol Myers Squibb, as well as new investors such as Capital Management, Surveyor Capital, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Deep Track Capital, and Logos Capital.
Obsidian's therapy differs from other autologous TIL products in development in that in addition to the usual process of harvesting the TILs from patients, then selecting and expanding them, the company also engineers them. The autologous product that Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Obsidian plans to advance into the clinic involves engineering TILs to armor them with membrane-bound IL15, which eliminates the need for patients to receive IL2 infusions simultaneously with their TIL treatment. The firm last year teamed up with the MD Anderson Cancer Center to conduct R&D on cytoTIL15.
Obsidian anticipates filing an investigational new drug application for cytoTIL15 with the US Food and Drug Administration and move it into clinical development in mid-2022. In addition to exploring cytoTIL15's activity in metastatic melanoma, the firm plans to use the new financing to develop the therapy for other solid tumors and build out its commercial manufacturing capabilities.