A new Boston-based single cell genomics-based drug discovery company has been launched by Longwood Fund with $39 million in Series A financing.
The funds will be used to advance Immunitas Therapeutics’ first programmes, monoclonal antibody therapeutics with single agent activity in preclinical models of oncology, to clinical studies.
Immunitas was founded to directly address the challenge of translating findings from laboratory research in model organisms to meaningful clinical advances in humans.
The company focuses on human samples, allowing the company to start with and stay closer to the most relevant and translatable biology for patients.
Underlying the company’s programmes is the unique drug development platform crafted by the Immunitas team along with Aviv Regev (Professor of Biology and Core Member of the Broad Institute and Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute) that dissects the microenvironment of human tumours using single cell genomics-based approaches to identify novel immune targets.
The Immunitas platform has generated fully humanised antibodies that act on these targets, advancing to human efficacy studies driven by specific clinical biomarkers, and a breadth of promising druggable cancer targets.
As well as the financing, the company has also unveiled its senior management team. Dr Lea Hachigian is co-founder, Director and President of Immunitas as well as a Principal at Longwood Fund. She is also a co-founder and Director of TScan Therapeutics.
Tarek Samad is the Chief Scientific Officer at Immunitas Therapeutics. He has over two decades of experience in academia and industry leading small molecule and antibody biologic programs into the clinic.
Amanda Wagner joins the company as Vice President of Strategy and Operations with over ten years of biotech experience in similar roles.