Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, Mass.-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel approaches for cancer immunotherapy, completed a $27m Series B financing.
The round was led by new investor F-Prime Capital Partners with participation from existing investors Sofinnova and venBio Partners.
Led by Karen Brennan, COO, and Art Krieg, CEO, Checkmate is a clinical stage company leveraging its expertise and the vast body of knowledge in the field of CpG oligonucleotides and is validating an approach that will combine the ability of CpG DNA to activate an anti-tumor T cell response with checkpoint inhibition to overcome a tumor’s ability to mute the immune response.
The company intends to use the funds to further advance clinical development of CMP-001, a CpG-A oligonucleotide that activates the innate immune system via Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9), and which is currently being studied in a Phase 1b trial in combination with pembrolizumab in primary refractory melanoma patients who have either progressed on or failed to respond to anti-PD-1 therapy.
Specifically, the additional funding will enable Checkmate to conduct advanced studies in melanoma as well as pursue studies in additional indications in which the combination approach may prove to be of clinical benefit. The combination therapy of CMP-001 and pembrolizumab has the potential to increase the proportion of cancer patients who respond to checkpoint inhibitor therapies and to increase the magnitude and duration of the anti-tumor responses, providing added clinical benefit.