CAMBRIDGE, MA – June 11, 2015 –Unum Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing a universal, antibody-directed cellular immunotherapy, announced today the close of a Series B financing totaling $65 million. New investor New Leaf Venture Partners led the round, with participation from additional new investors Brace Pharma Capital, Cowen Private Investments, Jennison Associates (on behalf of certain clients), Novo A/S, Sabby Management LLC, Sectoral Asset Management, and Wellington Management Company LLP. Unum’s existing investors – Fidelity Biosciences, Atlas Venture and Sanofi-Genzyme BioVentures – also participated in the oversubscribed round. In addition, Seattle Genetics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SGEN) made a $5 million equity investment in this round as part of the strategic collaboration between the companies announced earlier this week.
Liam Ratcliffe, M.D., Ph.D., Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners, who has been appointed to the Unum Board of Directors, stated, “We are thrilled to lead this financing into Unum. The ability to combine T cell therapy with a range of antibodies provides Unum a truly novel platform with numerous advantages, including rapidly developing cell therapies against multiple targets. The company is led by a world-class team and, together with the strength of this syndicate, is well-positioned to translate this potential into reality for cancer patients, and all stakeholders.”
The proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the Unum’s novel Antibody-Coupled T-cell Receptor (ACTR) technology platform and support the expansion of the company’s proprietary pipeline of ACTR therapies targeting a broad range of hematological and solid tumor targets.
“This is a unique time in the battle to develop cancer therapies. Across the industry, we’re seeing truly profound patient responses achieved by directing the immune system to attack tumor cells. This Series B funding will be critical for Unum, enabling us to advance our engineered T-cell therapy through clinical proof-of-concept and to simultaneously create a pipeline of programs targeting a range of cancer indications,” said Charles Wilson, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Unum Therapeutics. “We are excited at the opportunity to use our ACTR cell therapy to address the unmet medical needs of patients with hematologic or solid tumor cancers.”
About ACTR Technology
ACTR is a chimeric protein that combines components from receptors normally found on two different human immune cell types – natural killer (NK) cells and T-cells – to create a novel cancer cell killing activity. T-cells bearing the ACTR receptor can be directed to attack tumor cells by providing a monoclonal antibody that binds to antigens on the cancer cell surface and then acts as a bridge to the ACTR T-cell, enabling tumor cell killing. Unum has built a platform for cancer treatment based upon ACTR. In contrast to other approaches that are limited to a single target and treat a narrow set of tumors, Unum’s approach is not restricted by antigen and may have applications for treating many types of cancers.
About Unum Therapeutics
Unum Therapeutics uses proprietary T-cell engineering technology in combination with tumor-targeting antibodies to activate the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. Unum’s lead program, based on its Antibody-Coupled T-cell Receptor (ACTR) technology, recently entered Phase 1 clinical testing to assess safety and efficacy. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. For more information, visit www.unumrx.com.