Bellicum snags $20M for mid-stage cancer vaccine program

Houston-based Bellicum Pharmaceuticals says it has rounded up $20 million to back work on an experimental cancer vaccine. AVG Ventures LP and Remeditex Ventures came in as new investors on the Series B, which is divided into two tranches of $10 million each. The money is intended to fuel the developer's mid-stage plans.

The money will be used to fund a mid-stage study of BPX-101, a cancer vaccine being developed for castration-resistant prostate cancer. The vaccine relies on prostate cancer antigen-expressing dendritic cells which are activated by a proprietary compound to spur an immune response to the cancer.The developer is also planning to launch a Phase I/II study on a T cell infusion product designed to guard against graft vs. host disease.

Tom Farrell, the CEO of Bellicum, noted that the biotech company now has enough money to get through two mid-stage programs, taking it right up to the threshold of pivotal studies. Bellicum boasts of garnering $26 million in committed capital, which includes $6 million from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.  

- here's the release