Tmunity Therapeutics, a next-generation T-cell immunotherapy venture spun out of the University of Pennsylvania, has raised a total of $231 million since 2015 with this latest $75 million infusion. The most recent investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Westlake Village BioPartners, Gilead Sciences, The University of Pennsylvania, Be the Match BioTherapies and BrightEdge Ventures Fund (the latter being the philanthropic arm of the American Cancer Society). In its $135 million Series last year other investors included the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.
Use of Funds
CEO Usman “Oz” Azam reports Tmunity will use the funds for research and development of product candidates plus the planned expansion of the company’s viral vector and cell therapy product manufacturing facilities in Philadelphia and East Norriton—note it has already invested $12 million in this latter facility.
With 47 employees it expects to grow to about 70 by the end of 2020. It has lots of capital now to accelerate its R&D into CAR T cell therapy focus areas. Some prominent cell therapy products, such as Kymriah, was developed by researchers at Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia reported the Philadelphia Business Journal.
The company is currently conducting the CART-TnMUC1-01 study, a Phase I trial evaluating investigational product CART-TnMUC1 in patients with either TnMUC1 positive refractory solid tumors (Arm 1) or TnMUC1 positive relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (Arm 2) in combination with lymphodepletion chemotherapy regimen. The primary objective of the study is to identify the recommended Phase 2 dose of CART-TnMUC1 that can be safely administered with lymphodepletion.
With a target of 80 patients, the study will run ongoing to 2034. Key participating sites include:
·The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute with Omid Hamid as the principal investigator.
· University of Philadelphia Hospital, Alfred Garfall, MD as the principal investigator
The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute is a Cedars-Sinai affiliated institution. They are a key participant in the “paradigm shift in the treatment of cancer” as immunotherapy matured and are considered now alongside surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy as the fourth cornerstone of cancer treatment. The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute specialize in immuno-oncology studies. Their investigators are experts in emerging immune-oncology research.
Karen Chagin, MD is the key trial lead for Tmunity.
What is CART-TnMUC1?
This investigational product is comprised of autologous human T cells that have been genetically modified to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) targeting the Tn/STn glycoforms of Mucin1 (MUC1). The Tn and STn aberrant glycoforms of MUC1, collectively referred to as TnMUC1, are overexpressed in a variety of cancers.
Call to Action: Tmunity is specializing in autologous human T cells targeting Tn/STn glycoforms of Mucin1 (MUC1). The Tn and STn aberrant glycoforms of MUC1, collectively referred to as TnMUC1, are overexpressed in a variety of cancers. TrialSite News algorithms automatically track Tmunity and its research—sign up for our Daily Digest for updates.