InteRNA Technologies, an Utrecht, The Netherlands-based company that designs new therapies tackling cancer, closed an extended Series B financing round amounting to €18.5M in total.
This Series B round was led by AurorA Science, an Italian biotech investment company, along with existing investor Waterman Ventures. Current shareholders Aglaia Oncology Funds and OostNL also contributed to the financing round.
The funding will enable the clinical evaluation of the company’s microRNA lead candidate, INT-1B3, in patients with advanced solid tumors. Furthermore, the proceeds will be used to develop and advance additional proprietary preclinical drug candidates adressing a variety of cancer indications thereby expanding InteRNA’s pipeline. As part of the Series B financing, Gabriele Campi, PhD, of AurorA Science will join the Board of Directors.
Led by Dr. Roel Schaapveld, CEO, InteRNA Technologies is a clinical-stage biotech company developing a pipeline of proprietary microRNA (miRNA) therapeutics targeting key processes in initiation and progression of human diseases, with a focus on cancer.
The company’s microRNA lead candidate, INT-1B3, has a mechanism of action that addresses multiple hallmarks of cancer simultaneously. It directly targets tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment by specific modulation of multiple signaling pathway components across the PTEN tumor suppressor pathway and the oncogenic PI3K/Akt and Ras/MAPK pathways resulting in inhibition of proliferation and migration and induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. The triggering of the immunogenic tumor cell death (ICD) process as well as downregulation of the adenosine-A2A receptor pathway through inhibition of CD39/CD73 leads to a decrease in immunosuppressive FoxP3/Lag3 regulatory T cells and monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (mMDSCs). As a result, the immune system is activated, and long-term immunity is triggered by recruitment of CD8+ effector T cells leading to decreased metastasis development and improved animal survival compared to anti-PD1 treatment. The created T cell-mediated immune response activity is also transferrable to naive mice via adoptive T cell transfer.