SEATTLE and SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Immune Design, a biotechnology company focused on the development of novel immune-based therapies for cancer and other chronic conditions, today announced it has closed a Series C financing totalling up to $49 million. This Series C round includes an upfront investment of $32.5 million, with the right of the syndicate to invest an additional $16.5 million in the near term as programs progress. The financing was led by The Column Group and new investor Topspin Partners, and included existing investors Alta Partners, Versant Ventures, Osage Partners and ProQuest Investments. In addition, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures joined the syndicate as a new investor.
The funds will be used primarily to advance Immune Design's cancer immunotherapy product pipeline, including proof-of-concept studies for its lead therapeutic candidates ID-LV305 and ID-G305.
"With a focus on leveraging dendritic cell activation to fight disease, Immune Design has built on the pioneering discoveries of Dr. David Baltimore and the late Dr. Ralph Steinman to discover and develop product candidates that will hopefully result in more effective and targeted cancer treatments," said Peter Svennilson, Founder and Managing Partner of The Column Group.
"Immune Design has made great strides in advancing its innovative immunotherapy technologies and positioning its product candidates to enter clinical evaluation," said Bernard Davitian, Vice President and Managing Director, Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures. "We look forward to working with the experienced team that has been assembled to help guide this company and are very pleased to support Immune Design in this financing."
Immune Design recently expanded its management team to span all key functional areas with the addition of four veteran executives in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields. New team members include: Stephen Brady, Chief Business Officer; Richard T. Kenney, M.D., Chief Medical Officer; Jan Henrick ter Meulen, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Frank J. Hsu, M.D., Vice President, Head of Oncology. The company has also expanded operations to include a San Francisco office with plans to further expand in the Bay Area.
"With a deeply experienced leadership team and dedicated employees advancing our breakthrough molecular immunology platforms, Immune Design is committed to impacting the future of cancer treatment via our unique immunotherapy approach," said Carlos Paya, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer at Immune Design. "We are thankful for the support of our investors and hope to bring a meaningful benefit to patients in the near future."
Immune Design's Cancer Immunotherapy Product Candidates
- ID-LV305 is an investigational cancer therapeutic generated from the company's DCVex™ platform, which is engineered to selectively target dermal dendritic cells in vivo to induce a powerful and durable pool of tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs).
- ID-G305 is an investigational cancer therapeutic designed to generate tumor Ag-specific Th1 CD4 T cells, with further expansion of CTLs while catalyzing humoral and innate immune responses. ID-G305 was generated from the company's second discovery platform leveraging TLR4 agonism, GLAAS™.
- Both ID-LV305 and ID-G305 have been engineered to target the same set of tumors expressing a specific antigen. The company plans to initiate clinical trials of these product candidates as single agents, in combination with each other as a third product candidate (ID-CMB305), and in combination with potentially complementary cancer immunotherapy approaches.
About Our New Investors
Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures (SGBV), previously known as Genzyme Ventures, is a strategic fund that invests primarily in early-stage innovative companies in the core areas of interest of Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) and its subsidiary Genzyme. SGBV's investments focus on rare diseases, oncology, vaccines and infectious diseases, and breakthrough therapies in other core areas of interest, as well as integrated care solutions. For more information about SGBV, please visit sanofi.com or genzyme.com.
Topspin Partners is a venture capital and private equity firm that looks to generate superior returns by partnering with management to build great companies. Topspin is an affiliate of Renaissance Technologies.
About Immune Design
Immune Design is a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company headquartered in Seattle, WA with offices in San Francisco, CA. Immune Design brings together some of the world's leaders in the field of molecular immunology to develop two synergistic platforms of next-generation vaccines designed to treat cancer, infectious diseases, allergy, and autoimmune disorders. The company employs leading-edge technologies that target dendritic cells for more precise activation of the immune response. These include DCVex™, a novel lentiviral vector platform engineered to deliver antigen-encoding nucleic acids directly to dendritic cells in vivo, and GLAAS™, a TLR4 agonist platform that activates dendritic cells by up-regulating key molecules for efficient antigen presentation and produces Th1 cytokines to enhance the immune response. For more information, visit www.immunedesign.com.
SOURCE Immune Design