Cancer vaccine maker immatics adds nearly $30M in Series D

Immatics CEO Paul Higham

After scooping up an initial €12 million ($16.2 million) in October and a partnering pact with Roche ($RHHBY) in November, Germany's immatics has received an additional €22 million ($29.8 million) to wrap up a Series D financing round.

The latest funding--by existing investors including dievini Hopp Biotech holding, Wellington Partners, AT Impf GmbH and others--will help propel the immunotherapy developer toward the finish line of a Phase III trial of its cancer vaccine IMA901 in patients with renal cell carcinoma, putting immatics closer to regulatory submissions in the U.S. and Europe.

The trial is studying overall survival with IMA901 in combination with sunitinib--marketed by Pfizer ($PFE) as Sutent--a current standard first-line therapy, compared with sunitinib alone in patients with metastatic or locally advanced renal cell carcinoma. The company expects to release final data from the study in 2015.

The fundraising will also allow immatics to invest in its XPRESIDENT platform, designed to identify tumor-associated peptides directly from patients' tumors. As part of the company's Human Immunopeptidome Program, immatics will use XPRESIDENT to find hundreds of novel targets for common types of cancer.

IMA901 is an example of the company's use of this technology; the vaccine comprises 10 different tumor-associated peptides that are commonly over-expressed in renal cell carcinoma.

"By investing in our Human Immunopeptidome Program we intend to extend our global leadership in the discovery of tumor-associated peptides. We expect these specific, high quality targets to play a crucial role in delivering the significant promise of cancer immunotherapy as they act as a very specific 'navigation system' for the body's T cells, allowing them to be used to treat a wide range of cancers," immatics CEO Paul Higham said in a statement.

- read the press release