A2 Biotherapeutics, an Agoura Hills, Calif.-based biotechnology company developing innovative cell therapies for cancer patients, raised $57m in Series A funding.
Backers included The Column Group, Vida Ventures, Samsara BioCapital and Nextech Invest.
Founded in 2018 by Scott Foraker and Alexander Kamb, chief scientific officer, A2 Biotherapeutics leverages a platform designed specifically for cell therapies that enables identification of rare binders derived from antibodies or T-cell receptors, precision binder engineering and optimization, and modular signaling construct designs. A component of the platform, the HuTARGTM technology, is licensed from its collaborator and co-founder, Innovative Targeting Solutions (Vancouver, British Columbia).
Th company currently has four programs in development with the first clinical candidate expected next year and is open to collaborations to rapidly advance these programs. The plans also include innovations in manufacturing; it will launch an autologous cell manufacturing facility in 2020 with technology scalable for commercial launch.
A2 Biotherapeutics, which has a team of more than 40 staff, has the support of distinguished academic experts in cell therapy and T-cell biology, including:
– Mark Davis, PhD, Director, Stanford Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection and The Burt And Marion Avery Family Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University
– Robert Schreiber, PhD, AM Bursky & JM Bursky Distinguished Professor of Pathology & Immunology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
– David Maloney, MD, PhD, Medical Director of Cellular Immunotherapy at the Immunotherapy Integrated Research Center (IIRC) and Leonard and Norma Klorfine Endowed Chair for Clinical Research at Fred Hutch
– George Tsokos, MD, Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and Chief of Rheumatology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.