SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 10, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- PACT Pharma, in pursuit of its vision to eradicate solid tumors using transformational, first-in-class fully personalized NeoTCR-T cell therapies, today announced that it has closed an oversubscribed $75 million Series C financing. This round, led by Vida Ventures, a next generation life science venture firm with industry-leading experience in the cell and gene therapy, also included current investors of PACT.
Combined with proceeds from previous financings, PACT will use the Series C proceeds to expand the scope of its clinical plan to investigate NeoTCR-T cell products targeting multiple neoantigens for a spectrum of solid tumor types. In addition to clinical expansion, PACT will open in 2020 a next-gen GMP manufacturing facility in South San Francisco to support the end-to-end production and supply chain for the engineering of personalized neoantigen-targeted autologous T cells. Under the direction of industry veteran Tim Moore, President and Chief Technology Officer, PACT will leverage the new in-house manufacturing facility to automate manufacturing and analytic processes to reduce cycle time and manufacturing costs.
"PACT has grown from company launch to opening its first-in-kind clinical trial in two years. Our progress has been exhilarating and the support from our existing investors has made that progress possible," said Alex Franzusoff, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of PACT Pharma. "As we look to the next stage of our development and expansion of our clinical programs, we are excited to have interest from a new group of prominent investors who both understand the potential of NeoTCR-T cell therapy and have direct experience in the space. Vida Ventures stood out as a partner of choice, given their depth of operational experience in research, clinical development and manufacturing in cell therapy as well as their proven ability to guide companies like Kite and Allogene across key stages of development.
As part of the Series C financing, Helen S. Kim, Managing Director at Vida Ventures, will join the Company's Board of Directors. Ms. Kim brings over 25 years of biotechnology leadership experience and serves on the boards of Assembly Biosciences, Applied Molecular Transport, A2 Biotherapeutics and Exicure, Inc.
"Our investment in PACT Pharma represents our goal to fund scientific advances by embracing cutting edge innovation with the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients," said Kim. "PACT has developed a pioneering platform of personalized designer T cells with the potential to target some of the most elusive solid cancers facing society today."
ABOUT PACT Pharma
PACT Pharma is an independent, privately funded clinical stage company, based in South San Francisco, California, developing transformational personalized neoTCR-T cell therapies for the eradication of solid tumors and is now enrolling patients in its first-in-human Phase 1 clinical studies at several key academic centers of the CIRM-funded Alpha Clinic network, in California.
PACT Pharma's distinguised co-founders, David Baltimore (Nobel Laureate), Antoni Ribas, Jim Heath, Terry Rosen and Juan Jaen launched the company in early 2017. The company is backed by GV (formerly Google Ventures), Canaan, Casdin Capital, Droia, Foresite Capital, Invus Opportunities, Pontifax and Wu Capital and is supported by investment from AbbVie Ventures and Taiho Ventures. PACT Pharma's technology is designed to individually program tumor-exclusive targeting into each patient's own immune system cells to eradicate their own cancer. The process, which is currently in Phase 1 clinical testing, involves taking a biopsy of a person's cancer tissue to assess the tumor-exclusive mutations with predictive algorithms, then to biologically verify the optimal targets by capturing T cells from blood that already recognize the mutations. Using the T cell receptor information from the captured T cells, together with proprietary, cutting edge, (non-viral) precision genome engineering technologies, fresh patient T cells are edited in one step to craft tumor-specific neoTCR-P1 cells. These private designer T cells have been shown to immediately kill mutation-expressing tumors in pre-clinical studies, and to create a deep reservoir of 'ready-to-go' neoTCR-P1 cells with the potential for long term persistence to prevent future cancer recurrence. These developments offer PACT exceptional prospects to leverage the potential of ideal tumor targets and biologically verified neoTCRs into clinical development of neoTCR-T adoptive cell therapies.
CONTACT: William Nevius, wnevius(at)canaan.com
SOURCE PACT Pharma