Financing led by SR One; Proceeds to advance proprietary IL-18 variant through Phase 2 clinical trial ST-067 is a first-in-class “decoy resistant” IL-18 variant designed to overcome IL-18 binding in the tumor microenvironment
NEW HAVEN, Conn., Jan. 27, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Simcha Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing cytokine-based cancer immunotherapies, today announced the closing of a $40 million Series B financing. The round was led by SR One Capital Management and joined by other new investors including BVF Partners, Samsara BioCapital, Rock Springs Capital, ArrowMark Partners, and Logos Capital. In conjunction with the financing, Simeon George, MD, Chief Executive Officer of SR One Capital Management, has joined the Simcha Therapeutics Board of Directors.
In addition, the Company has dosed the first patient in the Phase 1 portion of a first-in human multi-center Phase 1/2 clinical trial of its first drug candidate ST-067, a first-in-class “decoy-resistant” Interleukin-18 variant. The study is designed to evaluate the safety and bioactivity of ST-067 in a broad set of solid tumor types.
“We intend to become a leader in creating the next-generation of cytokine immunotherapies, and this investment from a phenomenal group of blue-chip firms represents a major endorsement of our progress to date and future potential,” said Aaron Ring, MD, PhD, Simcha Therapeutics Founder and Assistant Professor of Immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine. “The Series B comes at a pivotal time in Simcha’s development as we have transitioned to a clinical-stage company and continue to build our leadership team.”
Dr. George added, “Simcha is developing highly innovative drugs that are completely unlike any other immunotherapeutic agent in development. We are proud to support the company in advancing this extremely promising agent for cancer patients.”
About Simcha Therapeutics
Simcha Therapeutics uses directed evolution to engineer novel cytokines designed to unlock the precision and power of the immune system. Simcha’s lead program, ST-067, is a designer IL-18 cytokine that has shown potent antitumor effects in animal models, both as a monotherapy and when combined with anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors, as described in Nature in June 2020. A Phase 1 clinical trial commenced in the second half of 2021. Simcha was founded in 2018 by Aaron Ring, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine.