A Gaithersburg biopharmaceutical company has raised $23 million in Series A financing, the company announced Tuesday.
NexImmune raised the money in a round co-led by ArrowMark Partners and Barer & Son, along with participation from Piedmont Capital Partners.
ArrowMark is a new investor while Barer & Son had already invested in NexImmune.
“NexImmune has developed a very practical, precise system that may transform the way we use technology to direct the immune system,” said Sol Barer, of Barer & Son Capital. “We are excited about the potential of this ‘next generation’ approach to help patients with a variety of cancers.”
NexImmune’s technology was originally developed at Johns Hopkins University and allows targeting of specific foreign substances or cells in the body. The Artificial Immune Modulation (AIM) nanotechnology platform allows enrichment, activation and expansion of non-genetically manipulated T-cells directed at tumor-relevant targets, according to Neximmune.
NexImmune’s primary product, AIM ACT, is a therapy that generates T cells targeting multiple tumor antigens associated with some hematologic malignancies, cancers of the blood and lymphs.
The company is entering a Phase I/II clinical trial to include patients with acute myeloid leukemia and/or myelodysplastic syndromes who relapsed after an allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant.
“We believe that antigen-specific T cells expanded from the endogenous repertoire have the potential to eradicate tumor cells through naturally occurring recognition and killing mechanisms, which should translate into significant benefit for cancer patients,” said Dr. Tony Yao, a partner at ArrowMark. “NexImmune is developing a novel technology that could make this approach a reality. I’m looking forward to working with their team as we advance this promising therapy into Phase I/II clinical studies in 2018.”
Yao will join NexImmune’s board of directors.
Barer & Son acquired NexImmune last January as the company made a transition from pre-clinical research to one that puts out a product. The company expects the Series A funding to see NexImmune through the completion of its Phase I/II clinical trials.