MANA Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company creating nonengineered, off-the-shelf allogeneic cell therapies that target multiple cancer antigens, today announced the final closing of its Series A financing, bringing the total raised to $42 million. In addition, MANA closed a $7.5 million venture debt facility with Silicon Valley Bank with an initial tranche of $5 million available immediately.
"This additional funding will enable us to accelerate the start of our clinical studies for our novel approach to off-the-shelf allogeneic cell therapy for patients with transplant-ineligible AML and select solid tumors," said Martin Silverstein, M.D., President and CEO of MANA Therapeutics. "It will also permit building out our pipeline of MANA-512 candidates, which will apply new sets of antigens to the EDIFY platform.
"In the meantime, MANA-312, an allogeneic donor-derived cell therapy candidate, has progressed steadily through the Phase 1 clinical trial that we initiated earlier this year. This is encouraging progress and the data we are collecting will inform the development of our off-the-shelf programs, including MANA-412, which is expected to advance into clinical trials in 2022," continued Dr. Silverstein.
"Next-generation cell therapies continue to be one of the most promising approaches in immuno-oncology, but face meaningful obstacles to be safely and economically available in an allogeneic format. MANA is utilizing its proprietary ManaMatch HLA matching protocol to build a bank of readily accessible nonengineered off-the-shelf therapies that could treat the majority of patients in targeted cancer indications and allow for repeat dosing," said Marc Cohen, Co-founder of Cobro Ventures and Co-founder and Executive Chairman of MANA Therapeutics.
The additional Series A funding comes from new investors J&W Partners, a South Korean private equity firm, and SK Securities, a leading securities firm in South Korea. As part of the agreement, J&W Partners will gain a seat on MANA's Board of Directors.
MANA Therapeutics' EDIFYtm platform constitutes the next-generation cell therapy approach by leveraging natural immune system pathways to educate T-cells to target unique sets of antigens expressed by tumors, without the need for genetic modification. The EDIFY platform uses dendritic cells as antigen presenting cells. The dendritic cells are loaded with ManaMixtm antigens and stimulate and expand T-cells to generate product candidates. Product candidates developed from the EDIFY platform are designed to increase efficacy through multiple antigen targeting and to support a strong safety profile by utilizing a nonengineered approach that could permit for repeat dosing of patients. The EDIFY platform uses a simplified, high-yield manufacturing process.
About MANA Therapeutics
MANA Therapeutics is harnessing the natural immune system to develop broadly accessible, ready-to-use cellular therapies to improve outcomes for cancer patients. By educating T-cells to target multiple tumor associated antigens without the need for genetic modification, MANA's EDIFYtm platform provides the opportunity to deliver safe, effective, and repeatable therapies.
Our journey began with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and we are advancing the science to develop additional proprietary and partnered programs for additional hematologic and solid tumors. https://www.manatherapeutics.com/
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