Marengo Therapeutics, a Cambridge MA-based company pioneering first-in-class therapeutics that activate the right immune response to promote lifelong protection against cancer, raised $80M in funding.
ATP made the launch investment.
The company intends to use the funds to advance the proprietary Selective T Cell Activation Repertoire (STAR) platform and progress into the clinic in 2022.
Led by CEO Zhen Su, Marengo develops novel antibodies that target Vβ T cell receptor (TCR) variants, selectively boosting anti-tumor T cells and promoting long-term protection against cancer.
From its proprietary antibody library targeting diverse germline-encoded TCR Vβ variants, the company can deploy therapeutic antibodies to prime the activation of clonally diverse T cells within both CD8+ and CD4+ effector pools that drive both near-term effector responses to tumors and long-term tumor immunity-promoting memory T cell responses. The activation of T cells using this approach also comes with reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine release that may translate into a better safety and tolerability profile.
Marengo’s first-in-class lead candidate, STAR0602, is an antibody fusion molecule that binds and activates a specific Vβ TCR variant T cell subset while also delivering additional signals to the same T cell (known as cis-targeting) to further re-program the T cell to enhance anti-tumor activity. STAR0602 is expected to enter the clinic in late 2022 for the treatment of advanced and metastatic solid tumor cancers.
The company is developing a broad pipeline of additional STAR programs that engage other immune cell types.
The team also includes:
- Andrew Bayliffe, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Marengo and Venture Partner at ATP,
- Raj Chopra, FRCP, FRCPath, FRSB, Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Marengo and Head of Oncology and Venture Partner at ATP.