HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OncoResponse, an immuno-oncology antibody discovery company, today announced that it has closed its ongoing $22.5 million Series A financing round and has appointed Mike Gallatin, Ph.D., Albert Yu, M.D., and Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D. to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The newly-appointed SAB members join original members James Welsh, M.D. and David Hong, M.D., both investigators at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Kristine Swiderek, Ph.D., CSO of OncoResponse, is chair of the SAB.
In October 2015, OncoResponse secured an initial closing of its Series A financing co-led by ARCH Venture Partners, Canaan Partners, and MD Anderson, with William Marsh Rice University and Alexandria Real Estate Equities also participating. In May 2016, OncoResponse secured an additional investment by Baxalta (now Shire), which was followed by supplemental investments from GreatPoint Ventures and the Helsinn Investment Fund in October 2016. The recent investment by current insiders and HT Family Office brings the total Series A financing to $22.5 million, which will be used to support OncoResponse’s ongoing efforts to interrogate the humoral response of elite responders to cancer immunotherapy to identify antibodies and potential targets for novel therapeutic development.
OncoResponse utilizes a clinically validated platform technology to rapidly screen antibodies made by the human immune system and identify those with exceptional reactivity to cancer. The Company has a strategic alliance with MD Anderson Cancer Center, which provides continuous access to patient samples across multiple cancer indications and to oncology and translational medicine expertise including clinical and regulatory input.
“HT Family Office is an excellent addition to our solid investor base and we warmly welcome them along with our new Scientific Advisory Board members, who bring extensive industry and oncology expertise to our team,” said Clifford J. Stocks, CEO of OncoResponse. “With the final closing of our Series A, we look ahead to the continued development of our research programs that aim to expand the promise of immuno-oncology by identifying therapeutically relevant antibodies from patients with elite response to cancer immunotherapy in a number of oncology indications.”
“OncoResponse’s approach to addressing the unmet need in patients who are partial or non-responders to immunotherapy is harmonized with our investment strategy,” said Alvin Syh, General Manager of HT Family Office. “We are honored to be able to support the advancement of this potentially transformative technology at such a crucial time in the Company’s development.”
New members of the OncoResponse Scientific Advisory Board include:
Mike Gallatin, Ph.D.
Dr. Gallatin is a Senior Advisor on the Frazier Healthcare Partners Life Sciences team and brings over 35 years of experience as a scientist and executive to the OncoResponse Scientific Advisory Board. He co-founded Calistoga Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead) and Stromedix Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Biogen Idec) and served as President of Calistoga, which was the first company to demonstrate the clinical benefit of an isoform selective PI3K (idelalisib) inhibitor in hematologic malignancies. Dr. Gallatin was one of the founding scientists at ICOS Corporation (acquired by Eli Lilly and Company), where he served as VP and Scientific Director. Earlier in his career, Mike developed expertise in the fields of immunology/inflammation and oncology while on the faculty at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Dr. Gallatin received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta Department of Immunology and was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell and American Cancer Society fellow at Stanford University in the laboratory of Dr. Irving Weissman.
Albert Yu, M.D.
Dr. Yu has over 20 years of clinical drug development experience and expertise. He previously served as Vice President of Clinical Development at Omeros Corporation and as Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Calistoga Pharmaceuticals. At Calistoga, he played a key role in the development of Zydelig® for the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Prior to that, he was Senior Director of Clinical Operations, Research & Affairs at ICOS Corporation, where he was instrumental in the development of Cialis® for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Dr. Yu received his B.S. in biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.D. from the University of Washington. He is trained in internal medicine, critical care medicine and pulmonary disease.
Elizabeth M. Jaffee, M.D.
Dr. Jaffee is an international leader in the development of immune based therapies for pancreatic and breast cancers. She is currently Deputy Director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University, where her research focuses on evaluating mechanisms of immune tolerance to cancer, the identification of human tumor antigens recognized by T cells, and the analysis of antitumor immune responses in breast and pancreatic cancers. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, she served as a research fellow and principal investigator at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Jaffee received her B.A. in biology and immunology magna cum laude from Brandeis University and her M.D. from New York Medical College. She completed her medical residency at Presbyterian-University Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
About HT Family Office
HT Family Office (HTFO) was established in 1999. The management team is situated in Beijing and Hong Kong. HTFO covers a full-spectrum of strategies in different sectors (Healthcare, IT, AI, TMT etc.), at different stages (early stage VC, late stage VC, PE fund and PE FOF etc.) and in different regions (US, EU, Israel and Asia) by both co-investment and direct investment. Up to now, HTFO has a global portfolio through more than 70 investment funds and more than 280 portfolio companies.
OncoResponse mines the human adaptive immune system to discover therapeutic antibodies against novel immuno-oncology targets. By identifying candidates from the immune systems of patients who have responded exceptionally well to cancer immunotherapies, OncoResponse has the potential to discover and develop drugs that can increase the success rate of these therapies across multiple cancer types. www.oncoresponseinc.com.