Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Houston, TX-based company that develops clinical applications of chemical induction of dimerization (CID), a drug-based remote control technology that extends the physician’s reach beyond the point at which a treatment has been administered,, has raised $20m in a Series B financing.
Existing and new investors contributed to the round. New backers James Brown, AVG Ventures LP, and Dennis Stone, M.D., Remeditex Ventures, will both join Bellicum’s Board of Directors.
The new funding will be made available to the company in two tranches, with the first half, of approximately $10m, paid immediately. The balance will be paid upon initiation of the next phase of clinical trials for its two lead products, expected in the third quarter of 2012.
Bellicum intends to use the capital to advance its lead CaspaCIDe™ and DeCIDe™ programs through Phase 2 clinical development.
Led by CEO Tom Farrell, the company plans to initiate a Phase 2 DeCIDe vaccine study in 2012. BPX-101 is a therapeutic cancer vaccine being developed for the treatment of patients with metastatic castrate resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The product contains matured, prostate cancer antigen-expressing dendritic cells that have been modified to allow in vivo activation by a proprietary drug, AP1903, in order to induce a potent anti-cancer immune response.
DSuring 2012, Bellicum also plans to launch a Phase 1/2 study of a T cell infusion product for patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), in which CaspaCIDe is used to treat graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a serious and sometime fatal transplant complication.