Flagship's Repertoire bags $189M to go after immune targets 

John Cox, Repertoire's CEO (left) and Douglas Cole, M.D., Repertoire's chairman (Repertoire)

Repertoire Immune Medicines has raised $189 million to advance anti-cancer T-cell therapies through the clinic while expanding its immune response drug discovery platform.

Flagship Pioneering created Repertoire by combining two of its portfolio companies, Cogen Immune Medicines and Torque Therapeutics. The VC shop oversaw the merger to bring together the immune decoding and immuno-oncology platforms that underpinned Cogen and Torque, respectively, and put former Bioverativ CEO John Cox in charge of the combined company.

Now, Repertoire has raised a series B round to support the next stage of its development. Repertoire framed the financing primarily in the context of what it will mean for the DECODE technologies it has developed to characterize the immune synapse.  

“This financing round will support the broad application of our DECODE platform to define and understand the complete repertoire of T cell receptor-antigen pairs that drive cellular immunity. The insights we glean from this information will enable a new era of novel immune medicines designed to exploit these critical interactions,” Cox said in a statement.

The technologies have already spawned a clinical-phase candidate, RPTR-147. Repertoire makes the candidate by activating T cells against a set of tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) and arming them with IL-15, a cytokine that promotes the proliferation of natural killer cells. RPTR-147 has shown signs of efficacy in a phase 1 trial of solid tumor patients. 

A second candidate, RPTR-168, is due to enter the clinic this year. RPTR-168 targets five TAAs and is tethered with IL-12. The result is an asset Repertoire sees having a future in HPV-16+ solid tumors.

The series B, which brings the total raised by Repertoire to more than $350 million, will also support the expansion beyond the lead immuno-oncology programs. Repertoire’s pipeline already features discovery-stage injectable cytokines and projects in Type 1 diabetes, gastrointestinal cancer and infectious diseases that are back in early discovery. 

Repertoire broadened its syndicate to raise the money. In addition to Flagship, which remains the biotech’s principal backer, Repertoire tapped Softbank Vision Fund 2i, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, the Alaska Permanent Fund, Invus and others groups for the series B funding.