Harpoon, a South San Francisco, CA-based clinical-stage immunotherapy company developing a novel class of T cell engagers, raised $70M in Series C funding.
The round was led by Arix Bioscience (LSE: ARIX) a global healthcare and life science company supporting medical innovation with participation from new investors OrbiMed, Cormorant, Ridgeback Capital Investments, Lilly Asia Ventures (LAV) and NS Investment and existing investors MPM Capital, Oncology Impact Fund, New Leaf Venture Partners and Taiho Ventures.
Arix invested $8.0m (£6.1m) to retain a stake of 11.3% in the company. With the investment, its total interest in Harpoon increased to £20.2m from £9.4m.
The company intends to use the funds for further advancement of its immunotherapy programs based on its TriTAC (Tri-specific T cell Activating Construct) and ProTriTAC (Protease-activated Tri-specific T Cell Activating Construct) platforms, which are designed to harness the natural power of the body’s immune system to fight cancer and other diseases.
Harpoon’s lead product candidate, HPN424, is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, or mCRPC. The company also plans to initiate Phase 1 clinical trials in for HPN536 (a mesothelin-targeting TriTAC) for the treatment of mesothelin-expressing tumours, and HPN217 (a BCMA-targeting TriTAC) for the treatment of multiple myeloma, in 2019.
Additionally, Harpoon expects to advance its first ProTriTAC product candidate into IND-enabling studies in 2019.