Gritstone Oncology, an Emeryville, Calif.-based personalized cancer immunotherapy company, completed a $92.7m Series B financing.
The round was led by new investor Lilly Asia Ventures, with participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures), Trinitas Capital (Beijing) and Alexandria Venture Investments, and existing investors Versant Ventures, The Column Group, Clarus Funds and Frazier Healthcare Partners. In conjunction with the funding, Judith Li, partner at Lilly Asia Ventures, will join Gritstone’s board of directors.
Led by Andrew Allen, M.D., Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief executive officer, Gritstone Oncology brings together scientific founders, an experienced and diverse management team, a board of directors and financial backing to tackle fundamental challenges at the intersection of cancer genomics, immunology, and immunotherapy design. The company’s initial goal is to leverage deep learning to identify and deploy therapeutic neoantigens from individual patients’ tumor to develop novel treatments for lung and gastric cancer.
Launched in October 2015, Gritstone intends to use the proceeds to advance its tumor antigen identification platform and pipeline of personalized cancer immunotherapies and support the ongoing construction and completion of its 43,000 square foot industrialized manufacturing facility in Pleasanton, CA.
The company’s lead program, targeting tumor-specific neoantigens, is expected to enter clinical trials in mid-2018, initially in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and gastric cancer.
The facility is being built in compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) standards and will form the nucleus of Gritstone’s manufacturing program for personalized cancer therapeutics.
The first investigational products for clinical research are expected to be manufactured in this facility in 2018.