Bayer is among the investors that participated in a $55 million Series a financing round for Triumvira Immunologics, a US biopharma developing a novel platform for engineering T-cells to attack cancers.
The round was co-led by Leaps by Bayer – Bayer’s impact investment unit – and Northpond Ventures. The financing also saw additional investment from Oceanpine Capital and Viva Biotech Holdings, and existing investors include Bloom Burton & Co. and the Centre for Commercialization of Cancer Immunotherapy (C3i).
The financing will enable Triumvira to advance multiple autologous and allogeneic programs into the clinic for solid tumours and hematologic malignancies.
Juergen Eckhardt, Head of Leaps by Bayer said the platform “represents a unique opportunity in the development of next-generation cell therapies that promise to address previously incurable cancers.”
Triumvira’s foundational technology is the T-cell Antigen Coupler (TAC). TAC is a hybrid molecule comprising multiple protein domains to combine tumour targeting abilities with the T-cell’s own activation machinery, leveraging the potential for the development of superior therapies for a broader range of patients with solid or liquid malignancies.
Triumvira’s preclinical data with autologous and allogeneic programs demonstrate unique biological differences between TAC-engineered T-cells and second-generation CAR-T cells, with TAC-T cells showing absence of tonic signalling, strong tumour penetration, and long-term persistence.
These functional properties help TAC T-cells produce strong anti-tumour activity and no evidence of toxicity, particularly in models of solid tumours.
Juergen Eckhardt and Jak Knowles will represent Leaps by Bayer by actively participating on Triumvira’s board of directors together with Shaan Gandhi, Principal at Northpond Ventures. Additionally, Scott Smith, current President at BioAtla and former President and Chief Operating Officer at Celgene, has been named Chairman of the Board.
Brian Bloom, Paul Lammers, John Holyoake, and independent Director Cynthia Collins, President & CEO at Editas Medicine, will remain on the Triumvira board.