Tioma lands $86M Series A for immunotherapy
- Tioma Therapeutics announced a big score for its first round of venture funding, bringing in $86 million through a Series A which ncluded the corporate venture arms of several big pharmas.
- John Donovan will become president and CEO, as well as take a seat on the board. Donovan has previously worked as an investment banker and senior leadership at several biotech firms, including Alios BioPharma before it was acquired by Johnson & Johnson.
- Investors in the Series A included RiverVest Venture Partners, as well as Novo Ventures (Novo Nordisk's corporate venture capital arm), Roche Venture Funds (Roche's CVC) and S.R.One (the venture arm of GlaxoSmithKline). A partner from each firm will join the board of directors.
Beginning its life as Vasculox in 2006, Tioma is using the huge infusion of capital to fund studies of its anti-CD47 checkpoint inhibitor from preclinical to proof-of-concept.
The company's large Series A, as well as the participation of so many corporate venture funds show the industry's interest in the technology. Earlier this year, another CD47 developer dubbed Forty Seven brought in $75 million in Series A financing.
Tioma says that its anit-CD47 compound has the ability to harness both the innate and adaptive immune systems, helping them to work in concert and destroy tumors. By comparison, Tioma contends current immunotherapies only work in a subset of patients because they only activate the adaptive immune system.
The biotech will retain research labs in its home of St. Louis, as well as corporate offices in San Francisco. Tioma is developing these drugs for a number of hematologic and solid tumors.
- Tioma Statement
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