WATERTOWN, Mass. and BOSTON, Dec. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- SQZ Biotech (SQZ), a preclinical stage biotechnology company, announced today that it has received an investment from the JDRF T1D Fund to provide support for development of the Company's novel therapy for type 1 diabetes (T1D) aimed at retraining the immune system to not attack insulin-producing beta cells. SQZ is using its proprietary CellSqueeze® technology to develop a series of cell therapy programs to induce immunological tolerance and treat multiple diseases. With its investment, the T1D Fund also provides the expertise of JDRF, the leading global organization funding T1D research and accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications.
"We are very pleased to receive this investment from the JDRF T1D Fund and look forward to their continued expert advice as we advance this exciting program. SQZ is thrilled with the T1D Fund's selection of our cell engineering platform as a priority for developing a new treatment approach based on immunological tolerance," said Bruce Beutel, PhD, Chief Business Officer of SQZ. "The focus of our program in T1D is to use targeted cell therapy to prevent or eliminate the autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic cells - the root cause of this life-altering disease."
SQZ Biotech is advancing its potential first-in-class cell therapies toward clinical testing based on the company's proprietary CellSqueeze® platform, a novel approach to the delivery of biomaterials into cells. In SQZ's tolerance program, including its new T1D program, auto-antigens are delivered to cells in a way that leverages naturally occurring biological processes to tolerize the patient's immune system and potentially eliminate its ability to attack healthy tissue.
"The T1D Fund supports the development of therapies that aim to prevent or halt the progression of this disease, with the hope of durable, long-term insulin independence and normal blood glucose control," said Jonathan Behr, Managing Director of the T1D Fund. "We believe this application of the CellSqueeze® technology is potentially transformative in this regard, and we are excited to work with the SQZ team to further advance the company's promising efforts."
About the JDRF T1D Fund
The JDRF T1D Fund (www.t1dfund.org) is a venture philanthropy fund accelerating life-changing solutions to treat, prevent, and cure type 1 diabetes (T1D) through catalytic commercial investments. Through its investments in partnership with private capital, including venture capital, corporations and foundations, the T1D Fund seeks to attract the private investment necessary to advance drugs, devices, diagnostics, and vaccines into the hands of those living with T1D. The T1D Fund invests in areas strategically aligned with JDRF, the leading global organization funding T1D research, with an exclusive focus on supporting the best commercial opportunities. The T1D Fund will reinvest any realized gains into new investments to further its mission.
About SQZ Biotech
SQZ Biotechnologies is a Massachusetts-based, privately held company developing cellular therapies for multiple indications using the proprietary CellSqueeze® technology. Through internal research programs and external partnerships, SQZ's unique cell engineering capabilities are being used to develop a new generation of cell therapies to address a wide range of clinical challenges. For more information please visit www.sqzbiotech.com.
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