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25 November, 2020 - 17:04 By Tony Quested

Achilles takes funding haul to c£153m in 14 months

Achilles Therapeutics has taken its funding haul to just under £153 million in 14 months with a £52.7m Series C. It raised £100m in September 2019.

Based at the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, the clinical-stage biopharma company is developing personalised T cell therapies targeting clonal neoantigens – a novel class of tumour target.

The Series C financing was heavily oversubscribed. OrbiMed, Boxer Capital of Tavistock Group, and other prominent US-based, healthcare-focused institutional investors join existing backers including RA Capital, Syncona, Forbion, Invus, Perceptive Advisors and Redmile Group.

Proceeds will be used to accelerate the company’s R & D activities and further build the clinical network to support its ongoing Phase I/IIa trials, the THETIS trial in patients with recurrent or metastatic malignant melanoma and the CHIRON trial in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. 

Both clinical trials use the company’s innovative personalised T cell therapy approach targeting clonal neoantigens and are currently enrolling patients with interim data expected from both studies in the first half of 2021. 

Some of the new money will enable the continued build out of Achilles’ manufacturing capabilities and broaden its growing pipeline of solid tumour pre-clinical product candidates.

Dr Iraj Ali, CEO of Achilles Therapeutics, said: “Achilles has made tremendous progress since its founding in 2016 and with this financing round we are further strengthening our outstanding syndicate with more leading US healthcare investors. 

“As we progress our two lead programmes in non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma through clinical trials we believe that our personalised T cell therapy approach has the potential to transform how certain cancers are treated, bringing much needed novel cancer therapies to patients.”

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