Immuneed secures SEK 4.3M in seed financing to further develop its immuno-oncology cancer vaccine candidate and grow its human whole-blood loop service for detection of acute immune related side effects of biopharmaceuticals.
After Immuneed’s establishment in 2014 and early funding from Bio-X (Uppsala Bio/VINNOVA) and the Dutch Technology Foundation STW, Immuneed has secures SEK 4.3M in financing from private investors, Almi Invest and Uppsala University Holding AB. The funding is a result of a promising drug discovery project in the immuno-oncology field and early customers for the service business. The funding will enable the company to secure resources for further development of the drug development project as well as suitable premises for the service offered to companies within the biotherapeutic field.
The company’s cancer vaccine candidate emanates from the founder and CSO Sara Mangsbo’s postdoctoral period at Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands as well as research performed at Uppsala University, Sweden. “It is exciting that we can now speed up the work we have started within immuno-oncology, as immunotherapy is and can become even more important in cancer care going forward. Immunotherapies have an immense potential that we are passionate about, so that more patients can benefit from more treatment alternatives. Our initial target is to address prostate cancer. With Gunilla Ekström now as CEO we have also been able to add valuable pre-clinical and medical expertise to the team” says associate professor and CSO Sara Mangsbo. Sara was also just granted a four year ‘young investigator grant’ from SSMF*. She will use this to further develop novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer at Uppsala University, as she here also holds a position as group leader at the Dept. of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology.
Immuneed’s vaccine development project is a peptide vaccine building on a patent pending idea that will enhance both peptide drug uptake and activation of the cellular immune response to combat cancer. The primary focus is patients with high risk prostate cancer but the platform can be used for multiple indications.
The specialized service is based on a human whole-blood loop assay for detection of acute immune related side effects of biopharmaceuticals. The assay measures immediate cytokine release and can also be used to perform mode-of-action studies. The service targets preclinical programs aiming to replace or complement animal studies and obtain a better understanding of first-in-man reactions prior clinical trial entry.
*) SSMF: Swedish Society for Medical Research