Little European biotech Sotio nabs a super $316M funding round for its superagonist work

In one of the biggest funding rounds for a European biotech ever, Czech Republic cancer company Sotio Biotech has grabbed a huge 280 million euro ($316 million) raise.

The immuno-oncology company, owned by the PPF Group, will use the cash to boost work on its lead asset SOT101, an IL-15 superagonist, along with three other new clinical programs, giving it a runway until the end of 2023. The mighty raise comes with stipulations, however, and the biotech must hit certain milestone to see all of it.

But it still has much to hand, and SOT101 will now be put through its paces across a range of cancers in a phase 2 program including melanoma, squamous skin carcinoma and kidney cancer as well as in a combo test with a checkpoint inhibitor.

Sotio is also working on earlier efforts, including BOXR1030, its next-gen CAR-T program for solid tumors expressing GPC3 and based on its so-called BOXR platform “that aims to enhance the fitness of T cells in the hostile tumor microenvironment,” according to the Prague-based company.

There’s also SOT102, a new antibody-drug conjugate with Claudin 18.2 targeting therapies, with a phase 1 dose escalation in patients with gastric and pancreatic cancers slated for March next year. Finally, Sotio plans to start a phase 1 with its IL-15 based immunocytokine using a PD-1 inhibitor as the targeting arm by the end of 2022.

“We are very excited and grateful for the continued strong support we’ve received from PPF Group today and since our inception,” said Radek Spisek, Ph.D., CEO of Sotio. “This very significant funding will allow us to advance a broad pipeline of unique clinical stage programs to key value inflection points.”