Affini-T Theraputics Completes $175 Million Financing to Advance T Cell Therapies for Solid Tumors
Biotechnology company Affini-T Theraputics has announced the completion of an $175 million financing for the development of its proprietary platform delivering treatments to patients with KRAS mutated solid tumors.
The oversubscribed financing was led by Vida Ventures and the impact investment unit of Bayer – Leaps by Bayer – amongst participation from multiple other life science investors.
“We are delighted to welcome Affini-T as one of the first investments in our Vida III portfolio, representing cutting-edge innovation in cell therapy for solid tumors, which remains a holy grail,” says Arjun Goyal, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vida Ventures and Co-founder of Affini-T.
Affini-T, who has established headquarters and cell therapy manufacturing infrastructure in Boston U.S, with additional research labs in Seattle and Washington, will use the financing to obtain complementary technology licenses to operationalize their discovery platform. This round of financing will also contribute towards moving its oncogene driver programs into the clinic.
KRAS mutations are the most prevalent cause of oncogenic mutation in solid tumors, accounting for around 30% of all cancers. In particular, KRAS mutations are found present in cancers with high mortality rates such as pancreatic, lung and colorectal cancer, for which current treatments lack efficacy and durability, creating a significant unmet need.
“Addressing KRAS represents a unique opportunity in the development of therapies that promise to address previously untreatable and incurable cancers and we are very excited about the potential of Affini-T’s technology platform,” comments Juergen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer.
The proprietary platform developed by Affini-T selects immune cells and engineers them using novel synthetic biological switches, enhancing the T cell functions. This increases the T cells durability, response and tumor infiltration capabilities, enabling a coordinated immune response and altering the tumor microenvironment.
The aim of this differentiated cell therapy platform is to develop curative therapies with sustained clinical outcomes in treated patients. Affini-T currently focus their state-of-the-art engineering and synthetic biological technology to target KRAS-driven solid tumors, but there is future potential to target other cancer-driving mutations, such as p53.
“Our differentiated platform combines highly active TCRs with unique synthetic biology, allowing us to pioneer novel therapeutic approaches intended to eradicate solid tumors. With proven management, an unparalleled founding team of scientific innovators and leaders in immunology and cellular engineering, we look forward to bringing life-changing medicines to patients in need,” concludes Jak Knowles, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Affini-T Therapeutics.
Source: Affini-T Press Release