Plan to initiate the IMAG1NE Phase 1/2 clinical study of TK-8001, a TCR-T cell therapy for MAGE-A1 positive solid tumors, in 2021
Andera Partners, a European investment management firm, announced today that its portfolio company T-knife Therapeutics, Inc., a next-generation T-cell receptor company developing a pipeline of innovative therapeutics for solid tumor patients, successfully completed a $110 million Series B financing. The financing was led by Fidelity Management & Research Company, LLC., with participation from other new investors including LSP, Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), Casdin Capital, Sixty Degree Capital, and CaaS Capital, along with existing investors RA Capital Management, Versant Ventures and founding investor Andera Partners. T-knife plans to use proceeds from the financing to expand its scientific team, increase manufacturing capacity and advance its pipeline of T-cell receptor (TCR) engineered T cell therapies (TCR-T).
“Over the past year we have made substantial progress toward our goal of building a leading TCR-T company focused on delivering clinically meaningful benefits for patients with solid tumors,” stated Thomas M. Soloway, Chief Executive Officer of T-knife. “We are excited to have the support of this group of dedicated life sciences investors to help us fulfill our mission, and we welcome Dr. Karin Kleinhans of LSP to our board of directors.”
“T-knife has an elegant and differentiated approach to identifying potent, cancer-specific TCRs with naturally optimized affinity and specificity profiles, creating a next-generation platform for this promising therapeutic field,” said Alex Mayweg, Chairman of T-knife and Managing Director at Versant Ventures. “We are pleased to be progressing TK-8001 toward the clinic and to advance our broader portfolio of product candidates.”
T-knife is leveraging its proprietary HuTCR transgenic mouse platform to discover and develop a portfolio of TCR-T programs to treat patients with solid tumors. T-knife’s lead program, TK-8001, is a novel TCR-T product candidate targeting MAGE-A1 positive cancers. T-knife plans to begin enrolling patients in the TK-8001 IMAG1NE Phase 1/2 clinical study in the fourth quarter of 2021 and is planning to submit INDs/CTAs for additional product candidates in 2022.
“The field of TCR-T holds significant promise to change the treatment paradigm for many cancer patients,” said Karin Kleinhans, PhD, Partner at LSP who joined T-knife’s board in connection with the Series B financing. “We are highly encouraged by the progress being made at T-knife to advance its important next-generation therapies.”
Olivier Litzka, Partner at Andera Life Sciences, commented: “As a founding investor of T-knife, we are extremely pleased with the development of the company leading to this series B round with high-caliber international life sciences investors. Following Andera’s strategy to attract US and EU investors to European life sciences companies, we are proud to help creating a powerful trans-Atlantic company in the cell therapy sector: a blueprint for excellent EU-US cooperation in the life sciences.” He added: “T-knife’s impressive path also underlines the innovation power of biotech companies in Germany and the DACH region confirming us in strengthening our activities in this area.”