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immatics bags $46m for Phase III cancer vaccine

Authored by James Sheppard

The German biotech company immatics, backed by biotech billionaire Dietmar Hopp, has secured a further $46m in series D funding for its cancer vaccine IMA901. The funding was provided by Hopp Biotech, Wellington Partners, MIG-advised funds and AP Impf GmbH. Under the details of the funding immatics will receive $12m of funding immediately. The latest round of funding will carry IMA901 through the completion of phase III trials and to regulatory filings in USA and Europe.

IMA901 is a cancer vaccine comprising of 10 different tumour associated peptides (TUMAPs) that are found to be highly over-expressed in the majority of patients suffering from renal cell carcinoma (RCC). IMA901 currently has orphan drug status in both the USA and Europe for the treatment of RCC in HLA-A*02 positive patients.

The phase III trial builds on positive results from a positive phase II study which showed an immune response to two or more of the TUMAPs contained in IMA901 where patients had a significantly longer survival. The phase III portion of the study is designed to assess the overall survival with IMA901 in combination with sunitinib (Sutent, Pfizer), the current standard first-line therapy, compared with sunitinib alone in patients with metastatic and/ or locally advanced RCC.

Paul Higham, CEO of immatics, said: ‘We are pleased that our existing investors have demonstrated their continued confidence in immatics and the novel cancer vaccines that we are able to generate using our unique, rational TUMAP-based approach to cancer immunotherapy. This financing will allow us to complete the full phase 3 development of IMA901 and prepare regulatory submission packages for the US and Europe. There is a clear need for novel cancer therapies that can deliver prolonged survival while maintaining a good quality of life. We remain hopeful that IMA901 will deliver a significant improvement for patients with renal cell cancer.’

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