Cambridge Biotech TCR2 Therapeutics Launches From Stealth Mode With $44.5 Million

Published: Dec 08, 2016

Cambridge Biotech TCR2 Therapeutics Launches from Stealth Mode with $44.5 Million December 7, 2016
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

TCR2 Therapeutics came out of stealth mode today, launching with a $44.5 million Series A financing led by MPM Capital and F2 Ventures. The company was founded in 2015 by Patrick Baeuerle. Baeuerle began his career as professor and chairman of Biochemistry and Molecular Biochemistry at the Medical Faculty of Freiburg University, Germany. Most recently he was vice president, Research and General Manager, Amgen Research. He moved to MPM Capital in March 2015 as Managing Director.

TCR2 will focus on T cell receptors (TCR). It has a proprietary TCR fusion construct (TRuC) platform that can reprogram TCR to recognize specific tumor antigens.

“We are thrilled to bring TCR2 out of stealth mode as it typifies the innovative start-ups we like to build in-house,” said Ansberg Gadicke, MPM co-founder and chairman of TCR2’s board of directors, in a statement. “T cell therapies hold great promise as shown by the impressive response rates seen in certain hematological cancers. However, improvement is needed in durability, safety and activity against solid tumors. TCR2 has developed an elegant approach that we believe can overcome limitations faced by existing T cell therapies.”

Garry Menzel will act as the company’s chief executive officer and director. He was previously the chief strategy officer at Axcella Health, the chief financial officer of DaVita Healthcare, and the chief operating officer of Regulus Therapeutics .

Robert Hofmeister will be the company’s chief scientific officer. He joined the company at is founding. He was previously the vice president of Immuno-Oncology at EMD Serono.

Gregory Sieczkiewicz is the company’s chief IP counsel. He is also a managing director and chief IP counsel for MPM Capital. Before MPM, he was the vice president of Intellectual Property at Flagship Ventures.

John Pallies is the acting chief financial officer. Before joining TCR2, he was the chief financial officer at Syndax Pharmaceuticals .

Helen Ho is head of Corporate Development. Before joining TCR2, Ho was the director of Business Development & Operations at Agios Pharmaceuticals .

Eva Quinn is the manager of Human Resources & Office Dynamics. She was with the company since its founding.

“The T cell receptor with its six distinct subunits is arguably the most complex receptor found in the human body,” Baeuerle said in a statement. “Growing evidence suggests that all TCR subunits interact with each other in a unique and critical way to determine the strength, duration and quality of response inside T cells. Because the TCR2 TRuC variants are designed to become an integral part of the TCR complex, TRuC-engineered T cells can take advantage of the full signal transduction power of the TCR complex, which is likely needed to improve efficacy of T cell therapies in solid tumors.”

In a statement, Menzel said, “This is a wonderful time to be at TCR2 because of the great opportunity we have to develop life-changing medicines for cancer patients. We have already validated our novel immunotherapy platform and will be advancing our lead program rapidly toward the clinic while partnering with industry leaders.”

Currently it has collaborated with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, University Hospital of Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany, and University of Freiburg in Freiburg, Germany.

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