Billionaire-backed immatics bags $46M to wrap cancer vaccine PhIII

Armed with promising data and the support of biotech billionaire Dietmar Hopp, Germany's immatics now has the cash to get its cancer vaccine past the goal line, closing a $46 million Series D that will carry it through Phase III.

Immatics, a 2007 Fierce 15 alum, is in the midst of a Phase III study of IMA901, the company's cancer vaccine derived from 10 different tumor-associated peptides that are commonly over-expressed in renal cell carcinoma. The latest funding--courtesy of dievini Hopp Biotech, Wellington Partners and others--will bankroll that trial and carry immatics all the way to regulatory submissions in the U.S. and Europe.

The company is studying whether IMA901 paired with Pfizer's ($PFE) sunitinib can boost overall survival in patients with metastatic or locally advanced kidney cancer. Immatics hauled in a $70 million round in 2010 to get the 339-patient study rolling, and the company expects to have interim results ready next year with final OS figures coming in 2015.

In Phase II data published last year, patients who responded to two or more of IMA901's tumor-associated peptides had significantly longer rates of survival, and immatics CEO Paul Higham said the latest funding round is an affirmation of the vaccine's promise.

"There is a clear need for novel cancer therapies that can deliver prolonged survival while maintaining a good quality of life," Higham said in a statement. "We remain hopeful that IMA901 will deliver a significant improvement for patients with renal cell cancer." 

- read the announcement

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