CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Compass Therapeutics, a biotechnology company committed to the ambitious goal of comprehensively drugging the human immune system, today announced the closing of the final $49 million of its $132 million Series A financing. This financing will enable the company to advance its next-generation antibody-based therapeutics into the clinic. The financing was led by OrbiMed Advisors and included F-Prime Capital, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Thiel Capital, Biomatics Capital, Ulysses Holdings, Borealis Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments and Biomed Realty Ventures.
Compass is pioneering a new approach to identifying antibody drug candidates that engage all targets in the biologically complex human immune synapse, with an initial focus on T cells, NK cells and macrophages. The company’s antibody discovery and bispecific engineering platforms enable the rapid identification of therapeutic candidates that engage with a broad range of epitopes on every target. Specifically, StitchMabs™, a novel and proprietary high-throughput bispecific screening platform, enables the rapid identification of synergistic bispecific activity.
The antibody discovery platform is both robust and efficient. Compass is capable of drugging two new targets per month, and therapeutic candidates are generated in less than two months from antigen to candidate set. To date, the integrated R&D approach has generated therapeutic candidates for more than 30 targets in cancer, inflammation and autoimmune disease. Compass has more than 15 therapeutic candidates advancing through preclinical development and has filed more than 50 patent applications.
CTX-471, the company’s leading immuno-oncology candidate, is in late IND-enabling studies and is expected to enter the clinic in the first half of 2019. It has been tested across multiple in vitro and in vivo models and has consistently shown potent and durable curative activity as a single agent, in combination with other immune-modulatory agents and with tumor-targeting therapies. In addition, in stringent high tumor burden therapeutic models, CTX-471 has led to complete tumor rejections and the generation of long-term, protective immunological memory.
Upon final closing of the financing round, Thomas Schuetz, M.D., Ph.D., the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer, commented: “The proceeds from this round will be used to rapidly advance our first therapeutic candidate, CTX-471, into the clinic, and to nominate two additional clinical candidates by the end of this year. I am grateful for our strong investor syndicate that has continued to support the company since its inception.”
Carl Gordon, Ph.D., a board member and managing partner at OrbiMed Advisors, commented: “In the three years since the initial Series A closing, Compass has built a portfolio of antibody discovery, bispecific engineering and functional characterization platforms which has consistently delivered novel and differentiated antibody drug candidates. Compass is positioned to become a leader in the fields of immuno-oncology, inflammation and autoimmune disease.”
Compass is also focused on drugging targets at the intersection of the innate and the adaptive immune response. By screening all discovery sets for both activating and inhibiting signaling, Compass is developing a set of novel therapeutics to induce tolerance in patients with autoimmune diseases.
“With every target we pursue, we are pushing the boundaries of its epitopic diversity. We then create multiple formats of antibody-based multispecific drugs to empirically test various therapeutic hypotheses. Our unique StitchMabs™ technology allows us to screen for bispecific synergies in a high-throughput manner, and the output from our discovery platforms is compatible with highly modular bispecific engineering strategies,” said Piotr Bobrowicz, Ph.D., the company’s chief scientific officer.
About Compass Therapeutics
Compass Therapeutics currently has over 15 antibody, antibody combination and bispecific programs advancing through preclinical development, targeting multiple pathways of significance for the immune system. The company’s offices, labs and vivarium are based in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Mass. Compass currently has approximately 70 full-time employees.