SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immusoft Corporation, a Seattle, Wash.-based gene therapy company, announced today it has closed a $3M initial tranche of a Series B financing. The full Series B is underway. The round is expected to provide Immusoft the funding it needs to complete its Phase I/II clinical trial in MPS-I (Mucopolysaccharidoses type I) and advance its pipeline, which uses its proprietary Immune System Programming (ISP™) approach to B cell modification for treating diseases.
Commensurate with this financing, biotechnology veteran Sean Ainsworth will assume the role of CEO and Chairman of the Board. Ainsworth is affiliated with 600 Mile Challenge Fund, which led the investment. Also joining the board is Anthony Sun, M.D., MBA. He has extensive venture capital experience and board of director roles in multiple successful biotechnology companies.
Immusoft founder and outgoing CEO, Matthew Scholz, says the interest from investors and Ainsworth bodes very well for the company he founded in 2009.
“These are exciting times for Immusoft,” says Scholz, who becomes Immusoft’s Chief Technology Officer and maintains his board seat under the new leadership structure. “Sean is the right leader to guide Immusoft as it transitions from pre-clinical studies into human clinical trials.”
Previously, Ainsworth brought a gene therapy company, RetroSense Therapeutics, into human trials. Allergan bought RetroSense Therapeutics in 2016.
Ainsworth says he looks forward to leading Immusoft and helping give its modified cell therapy solutions the best chance possible of eventually treating patients.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of Immusoft,” says Ainsworth. “This is a good fit. It enables me to use my experience to guide a company already doing great things to reach its potential in the clinic and the marketplace.”
Immusoft has developed a methodology designed to use a patient’s immune cells to treat disease. Its ISP technology reprograms B cells with the goal of treating diseases, including MPS I, a rare genetic lysosomal storage disease that is expected to be Immusoft’s first clinical application.
ISP is an ex vivo cell culture system that uses a non-viral system to genetically modify B cells. ISP has its origins in a B cell culture system invented by Nobel laureate David Baltimore, Ph.D., which Immusoft has extensively improved upon.
Immusoft has worked with major medical and research center partners and received support from prominent investors including Peter Thiel through FF Science, an early stage investment vehicle of Founders Fund, Tim Draper, Technium Partners, and others. Breakout Labs, a Thiel founded and led initiative supported Immusoft with one of its first grants in 2012. Among Immusoft’s other early grants was one from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Immusoft Corporation’s (immusoft.com) mission is to treat diseases using its breakthrough technology platform called Immune System Programming (ISP™). The technology instructs a patient’s cells to produce gene-encoded medicines (biologics). Cells that are reprogrammed using ISP become miniature drug factories that are expected to survive in patients for many years. Founded in 2009, Immusoft is based in Seattle, Wash.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current plans, estimates and projections. Immusoft Corporation undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in light of new information or future events. Actual results or outcomes may differ from those implied by the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of operational, scientific, regulatory and related risks and uncertainties.