Bukwang Pharmaceutical and Novartis Venture Fund were among the latest investors in the developer of T-cell therapies for liquid and solid cancers.

US-based cancer treatment developer ImmPact Bio picked up $111m in a series B round on Thursday from investors including pharmaceutical firms Bukwang Pharmaceutical and Novartis. VenBio Partners, Foresite Capital and Decheng Capital co-led the round, which included Surveyor Capital, OrbiMed and RM Global Partners (RMGP). Novartis took place through its corporate venturing vehicle, Novartis Venture Fund. ImmPact Bio is working on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies both for haematological malignancies and solid tumours using the research conducted at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Migal – Galilee Research Institute. The company’s approach aims to overcome several challenges, such as the immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment, and the company particularly hopes to help patients who have exhausted other options. The technology is based on work by Yvonne Chen and Antoni Ribas at UCLA, who collaborated with Gideon Gross at the Migal – Galilee Research Institute. In conjunction with the series B round, ImmPact Bio appointed Sheila Gujrathi as chairwoman of its board of directors and Sumant Ramachandra as president and chief executive. Ramachandra joins from medical device company Baxter International, where he had been chief science, technology and medical officer since 2017. Also joining the board are Yvonne Yamanaka of VenBio Partners, Cindy Xiong of Foresite Capital and Min Cui of Decheng Capital. Ramachandra said: “I am excited to join ImmPact Bio at such a crucial time in our development. I am impressed with the strong scientific foundation that the co-founders, management team and board have built across its programs and platforms that aim to bring curative therapies to patients living with cancer.” ImmPact Bio previously picked up $18m in series A financing in August 2020. That round also featured Bukwang Pharmaceutical and Novartis Venture Fund as well as peers Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC and Takeda Ventures, on behalf of pharmaceutical firms Johnson & Johnson and Takeda respectively. OrbiMed, RM Global Partners, BioPharma Investment Fund, Hayan Health Networks and JVC Investment Partners filled out the series A round. The original version of this article appeared on our sister site, Global University Venturing.

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Thierry Heles

Thierry Heles is the editor of Global University Venturing, host of the Beyond the Breakthrough interview podcast and responsible for the monthly GUV Gazette (sign up here for free).