PACT Pharma, a SouthSan Francisco, Calif.-based advancing personalized NeoTCR-T cell therapies to eradicate solid tumors, closed a $75m Series C financing.
The round was led by Vida Ventures with participation from current investors. As part of the round, Helen S. Kim, Managing Director at Vida Ventures, will join PACT Pharma’s Board of Directors.
The company intends to use the funds to expand the scope of its clinical plan to investigate NeoTCR-T cell products targeting multiple neoantigens for a spectrum of solid tumor types and open a GMP manufacturing facility in South San Francisco to support the production and supply chain for the engineering of personalized neoantigen-targeted autologous T cells.
Co-founded by David Baltimore (Nobel Laureate), Antoni Ribas, Jim Heath, Terry Rosen and Juan Jaen in early 2017 and led by Alex Franzusoff, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, and Tim Moore, President and Chief Technology Officer, PACT Pharma is a clinical stage company, developing transformational personalized neoTCR-T cell therapies for the eradication of solid tumors. The company’s technology is designed to individually program tumor-exclusive targeting into each patient’s own immune system cells to eradicate their own cancer.
The process, which is currently in Phase 1 clinical testing, involves taking a biopsy of a person’s cancer tissue to assess the tumor-exclusive mutations with predictive algorithms, then to biologically verify the optimal targets by capturing T cells from blood that already recognize the mutations. Using the T cell receptor information from the captured T cells, together with proprietary (non-viral) precision genome engineering technologies, fresh patient T cells are edited in one step to craft tumor-specific neoTCR-P1 cells.
These private designer T cells have been shown to immediately kill mutation-expressing tumors in pre-clinical studies, and to create a deep reservoir of ‘ready-to-go’ neoTCR-P1 cells with the potential for long term persistence to prevent future cancer recurrence.
The company is now enrolling patients in its first-in-human Phase 1 clinical studies at several key academic centers of the CIRM-funded Alpha Clinic network, in California.
Pact is also backed by GV (formerly Google Ventures), Canaan, Casdin Capital, Droia, Foresite Capital, Invus Opportunities, Pontifax and Wu Capital, AbbVie Ventures and Taiho Ventures.