Prokarium, a biopharmaceutical company leading the oncology field of microbial immunotherapy, has raised $30 million in new funding. This follows Prokarium's announcement of partnering with Ginkgo Bioworks to leverage its world-class Foundry and extensive Codebase to develop a bactofection platform technology.
"We are excited to advance our vision to create living cures," said Kristen Albright, PharmD, Chief Executive Officer of Prokarium. "Proceeds of this financing will fund our lead oncology program entering clinical development this year and enable platform expansion for the delivery of novel therapeutic payloads, including RNA, via our proprietary bacteria. With Ginkgo's partnership and their expertise in strain engineering and optimization we look forward to working towards unlocking a new generation of immuno-oncology therapeutics."
Prokarium's lead program has the potential to transform the treatment paradigm in bladder cancer, one of the costliest cancers to treat, in its efforts to become the new standard-of-care in a market that has seen little innovation in over 30 years and to offer advanced therapies an alternative to Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). Prokarium's pipeline leverages evolutionary advantages of a proprietary strain of Salmonella and combines them with bespoke synthetic circuits to deliver diverse therapeutic cargo for difficult-to-treat cancers.
"We believe Prokarium is a truly differentiated company," added Thomas Eldered, Executive Chairman, Flerie Invest. "The new funds and Prokarium's partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks will accelerate the cutting-edge innovation essential to lead the advancements in the field of synthetic biology and immunotherapy for years to come."
"Our partnership with Prokarium will utilize Ginkgo's leading platform capabilities and services to pioneer technological developments that we believe will revolutionize the immuno-oncology field," added Ena Cratsenburg, Chief Business Officer at Ginkgo Bioworks. "Ginkgo is excited to partner with Prokarium to work to build a versatile Salmonella-based bactofection platform capable of delivering targeted, localized RNA therapeutics."
In addition to the financing, Prokarium has announced the addition of two scientific advisors, Professor Adrian Hayday, PhD and Sam Chang, MD, MBA. "We are thrilled to welcome Adrian and Sam as advisors as we transition into a clinical-stage company," concluded Albright. "Adrian brings the deep immunology and immunotherapy expertise, and Sam possesses invaluable clinical experience being involved in numerous bladder cancer clinical trials." Professor Hayday is the founding Chair of Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology at King's College London and is currently Principal Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute. Sam currently serves as the Chief Surgical Officer at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center.
Prokarium is a biopharmaceutical company leading the oncology field of microbial immunotherapy with the vision to create living cures. The Company's pipeline is designed to unlock a new generation of immuno-oncology therapeutics by re-engineering evolution into a synthetic biology platform. Prokarium's lead program is focused on transforming the treatment paradigm in bladder cancer by orchestrating immune-driven, long-lasting antitumor effects. Prokarium is based in London, UK. For further information, visit www.prokarium.com.
About Flerie Invest
Flerie Invest is an active long-term global biotech and pharma investor based in Stockholm and London managing a portfolio of over 30 companies in Europe, Israel and the US. The focus is on enabling pioneering organisations operating in the drug development and services space to succeed by providing them with resources and expertise. The portfolio includes a wide range of areas including immuno- oncology, metabolic diseases and biologics development and manufacturing organisations which have the potential to make a significant impact in health and wellbeing. Flerie Invest was founded in 2011 by Thomas Eldered, who also co-founded and built Recipharm to be one of the world's top five pharmaceutical contract manufacturers. For more information, please visit www.flerie.com.
About Ginkgo Bioworks
Ginkgo Bioworks is the leading horizontal platform for cell programming, providing flexible, end-to-end services that solve challenges for organizations across diverse markets, from food and agriculture to pharmaceuticals to industrial and specialty chemicals. Ginkgo's biosecurity and public health unit, Concentric by Ginkgo, is building global infrastructure for biosecurity to empower governments, communities, and public health leaders to prevent, detect and respond to a wide variety of biological threats. For more information, visit ginkgobioworks.com and concentricbyginkgo.com, read our blog, or follow us on social media channels such as Twitter (@Ginkgo and @ConcentricByGBW), Instagram (@GinkgoBioworks and @ConcentricByGinkgo), or LinkedIn.
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