New Biotech, Unum Therapeutics, Launches In Cambridge With $12 Million In Pocket
Published: Oct 21, 2014
October 21, 2014
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Cambridge-based Unum Therapeutics, which is dedicated to using cellular immunotherapy to treat cancer, announced today that it has raised $12 million in a Series A round of funding from Fidelity Biosciences, Atlas Venture, Sanofi-Genzyme and BioVentures.
Unum said it will be using the capital to advance its lead candidate drug through initial proof-of-concept clinical studies, further enhance its antibody-coupled T-cell receptor technology, and establish partnerships to access tumor-specific antibodies for a pipeline of combination therapies.
“We’ve created Unum to rapidly develop this universal cell therapy platform and to explore its potential in a number of different cancer types,” said Charles Wilson, CEO, president and founder of Unum. “With our Series A funding from Fidelity Biosciences, Atlas Venture, and Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures, we will drive our lead program into Phase I testing and aim to quickly validate the ACTR approach in the clinic.”
Unum’s proprietary T-cell engineering technology in combination with tumor-targeting antibodies is designed to enhance the body’s immune system and encourage it to fight cancer. The company’s ACTR technology will be entering Phase I clinical testing in the coming months to determine its efficacy and safety.
“Unum combines a strong, experienced management team, a transformational technology that may revolutionize cancer treatment, and top scientific and business development talent,” said Ben Auspitz, partner at Fidelity Biosciences. “It has the right combination of resources to carry out its vision of bringing to market a single therapy that can augment the activity of many different antibodies to treat many different cancers.”
Prior to founding Unum Therapeutics, Wilson led a team responsible for partnering to support research and early development at Novartis . He also has experience in everything from early drug discovery to Phase II clinical development.
Dario Campana serves as Unum’s scientific founder. He has extensive experience in the field of cancer cell therapeies. At the National University of Singapore, he created the ACTR technology that is now the basis of Unum. Currently, Campana oversees numerous cell therapy clinical trials in oncology.
The first Board of Directors for Unum Therapeutics is comprised of Wilson, Auspitz and Bruce Booth of Atlas Ventures.