Immunotherapy-focused OncoResponse recently closed a $40 million funding round, led by RiverVest Venture Partners, to develop five drug candidates for anticancer therapies.
Immunotherapy is a treatment that uses certain parts of a person’s immune system to fight diseases such as cancer. OncoResponse’s work rests on finding antibodies cancer patients produced while receiving immunotherapy cancer treatments. These antibodies are used to create new drugs which will “convince” the immune systems of those patients who remained unresponsive to classic therapies to fight more effectively against cancer cells.
“We now have several antibodies from our cancer patient-derived platform that are directed at modulating immunosuppression of the tumor microenvironment. This new capital will allow us to advance our programs through preclinical development and enable us to move our lead programs into clinical studies”, said Clifford J. Stocks, CEO of OncoResponse.
Stocks adds the new drug candidates could arrive to clinical trial by the end of 2020. This brings hope to patients suffering from various types of cancer including: gastric, colorectal, non-small cell lung cancers, as well as melanoma, since the specific antibody could be used to strengthen their immune system’s ability to fight the disease.
The increased prevalence of devastating diseases calls for the digital transformation of healthcare. According to recent figures by the American Cancer Association, there will be an estimated 1,735,350 new cancer cases diagnosed and 609,640 cancer deaths in the United States in 2018. As a result, investors are interested in helping companies to find new cures. Companies also have every interest to expand their research to find new solutions, and fast.
Cancer immunotherapies is a growing field with specialists striving to find more effective treatments which involve using the patient’s own immune system. OncoResponse is just one of many innovative healthcare startups that are speeding up delivery of treatments to market. Another company, RootPath, raised $7 million recently in order to “develop a novel proprietary approach to immunotherapy,” while 10x Genomics payed, also recently, an undisclosed sum to acquire Epinomics, who is also researching cancer immunotherapies.
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