TCR2 Shoots for $100 Million IPO in Early 2019
Cambridge, Mass.-based TCR2 Therapeutics is looking to secure $100 million in an initial public offering. Just before the end of 2018, the company filed its prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, hoping that the new year will continue the IPO frenzy biotech enjoyed for much of 2018.
TCR2 is an immunotherapy company focused on the development of novel T-cell therapies using its multi-format TRuC platform. In its filing with the SEC, which was first reported on Seeking Alpha, TCR2 pointed out that while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two CAR-T therapies for certain CD19-positive B-cell blood cancers, its use is limited to a subset of cancer patients. Also, so far, CAR-T programs have not been shown to be effective in targeting solid tumors. TCR2 believes that its programs can change that. The company’s proprietary TCR Fusion Construct T cells are designed to recognize and kill cancer cells by harnessing the entire T cell receptor (TCR) signaling complex – a process that could reduce the chances of cytokine toxicity, a danger with current CAR-T treatments. T-Cell receptors have typically relied on the antigen HLA in order to bind to the target. But some cancers have low downgraded HLA, which makes it a difficult target. The company said its technology is designed so that it can be applied to all patients that express the cancer surface antigen irrespective of HLA subtype, which will provide it with a larger patient population.
In its SEC filing, TCR2 said it filed an Investigational New Drug Application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its lead solid tumor product candidate, TC-210. The company plans a Phase I/II trial to treat patients with mesothelin-positive solid tumors. Initial data is expected in the second half of 2019. In its filing, the company estimated that the patient population for TC-210 is about 81,000 people in the United States. TC-210, a solid tumor program, targets mesothelin, a tumor differentiation antigen that is highly expressed in several cancers including malignant mesothelioma, pancreatic, ovarian and lung adenocarcinoma.
TCR2 said it plans to file a second IND later this year for its lead hematology product candidate, TC-110. That asset is designed to treat patients with CD19-positive B-cell hematological malignancies. The company anticipates its initial data readout in 2020. Additionally, TCR2 plans to file an IND for its second solid tumor asset, TC-220, in 2020, with the first clinical data expected in the first half of 2021.
TCR2 launched in December 2016 following a $44.5 million Series A financing round. In March 2018, the company snagged $125 million in an oversubscribed Series B financing round that was used to advance two T-Cell receptor programs through clinical proof-of-concept.