GAITHERSBURG, Md., Jan. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NexImmune, an emerging leader in the field of antigen-directed immunotherapy, announced the closing of a Series A financing co-led by new investor ArrowMark Partners and existing investor Barer & Son Capital, along with significant participation from Piedmont Capital Partners. In conjunction with the financing, Tony Yao, MD, PhD, a Partner at ArrowMark Partners, will join NexImmune’s Board of Directors.
"NexImmune has developed a very practical, precise system that may transform the way we use technology to direct the immune system,” commented Dr. 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 is advancing immunotherapy products based on its proprietary Artificial Immune Modulation (AIMTM) nanotechnology platform, originally developed at Johns Hopkins University. The AIM Technology enables simultaneous enrichment, activation and expansion of endogenous T cells (non-genetically manipulated) directed at multiple tumor-relevant antigen targets across a broad range of solid and hematologic malignancies.
Core to the AIM Technology are nanoparticle-based artificial Antigen Presenting Cells (aAPC) that bypass the antigen processing and presentation role of natural dendritic cells. aAPC engage directly with targeted T cell receptors on naïve and memory T cells, an approach that is designed to combine a robust effector response with the generation of long-term immunologic memory.
NexImmune’s lead product candidate, AIM ACT, is a cellular therapy designed to generate T cells targeting multiple tumor antigens associated with several hematologic malignancies. The initial Phase I/II clinical trial will include patients with acute myeloid leukemia and/or myelodysplastic syndromes who have 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. 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,” commented ArrowMark’s Dr. Yao.
Since its acquisition in January 2017 by the Barer & Son-led syndicate, NexImmune has made significant progress in its transition from a research-based, pre-clinical company to one with an extensive technology platform ready for clinical scale manufacturing and clinical trial application. Proceeds from this Series A financing are expected to fund NexImmune through the completion of currently planned Phase I/II clinical trials.
“As the field of immunotherapy continues to evolve, adoptively transferred T cell therapies that target single antigens on the surface of cancer cells are emerging as potentially curative options for many patients with hematological malignancies,” stated Scott Carmer, NexImmune’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “Unfortunately, many patients who experience an initial response to these treatments now relapse due to loss of target antigen expression. NexImmune’s AIM technology generates T cells capable of targeting multiple tumor-relevant antigens, and we believe this approach will enhance overall treatment effectiveness and reduce the likelihood of disease relapse due to target loss.”
Trout Capital LLC served as the placement agent for NexImmune’s Series A financing.
NexImmune is a biopharmaceutical company with a mission to help cure cancer by directing T cell function to restore natural immunity using precision technology and personalized therapeutics. The Company’s proprietary AIM Technology uses artificial Antigen Presenting Cells (aAPC) to create highly targeted T cell-based immunotherapies. In preclinical studies, aAPC have demonstrated the ability to expand antigen-specific T cells when injected directly (in vivo) or when used as part of an ex vivo cellular expansion system. For more information visit: www.neximmune.com