EAST HANOVER, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immetas Therapeutics today announced it has raised a Series A financing of $11 million to advance research on inflammation pathways in aging and the development of novel, immune modulating treatments for cancer and inflammatory disease. Morningside Ventures was the sole investor in the financing round.
“Morningside’s investment is a significant endorsement of our approach to targeting inflammation pathways in aging and our clinical evidence-based discovery strategy,” said J. Gene Wang, MD, PhD, co-founder and CEO. “Emerging research that molecular pathways driving both aging and age-related diseases converge around chronic, low grade inflammation is creating a new set of opportunities to treat cancer and other serious diseases. Immetas is well positioned to capitalize on these new advances.”
Dr. Wang added, “Our approach prioritizes clinical evidence and a deep interrogation of disease mechanisms to guide drug discovery. This strategy is designed to reduce development risk resulting from the ‘translational’ gap between laboratory findings and patients and ensure the development of superior and well-differentiated drugs.”
Dr. Wang co-founded Immetas after a 20-year career at large pharmaceutical companies, including Merck, Abbott, GSK and Novartis, where he played integral roles in the successful development of major drugs, including Humira® (adalimumab), Varubi® (rolapitant), Zolinza® (vorinostat) and Gardasil® (human papilloma virus vaccine), and led multiple programs from discovery to clinical proof-of-concept. Dr. Wang received his M.D. from Peking University Medical Center and Ph.D. in Immunobiology from Yale University, followed by medical residency training at Yale New Haven Hospital.
Immetas other co-founder, Dr. David Sinclair, is an internationally recognized scientist known for his research on genes and small molecules that delay aging, including Sirtuin genes, resveratrol and NAD precursors. He was among TIME magazine’s “50 Most Influential People in Healthcare” in 2018. Dr. Sinclair is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard and he serves as a science advisor to the Company.
“We have a shared vision that inflammation is the fundamental and ultimate process driving aging and age-related cancers and inflammatory diseases,” said Dr. Sinclair. “Our approach is distinct from others that have targeted conventional age-related pathways and to date have proved challenging.”
The Company is building a pipeline of biologic and small molecule drugs internally and through collaborations. Immetas’ lead program is aimed at designing a series of bi-specific antibodies to regulate inflammation in the tumor microenvironment and overcome resistance to conventional immune checkpoint therapies.
In connection with the financing, Dr. Lu Huang, MD, MBA, Managing Director at Morningside Ventures, joined the Immetas board of directors. Since joining Morningside in 2003, Dr. Huang has led nearly three dozen healthcare / life science investments in China and the United States.
About Immetas Therapeutics
Immetas discovers and develops novel therapeutics that modulate the innate immune system to treat age-related cancers and inflammatory diseases. The company’s approach is based on emerging evidence that chronic low-grade inflammation is a fundamental process governing aging and age-related diseases and anchored in clinical evidence to mitigate development risk. Immetas was founded by J. Gene Wang, MD, PhD, a veteran in discovery and translational drug development in immunology/ inflammation and oncology, and David Sinclair, PhD, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and a leader in the molecular mechanisms of aging. The lead program in the company’s growing pipeline is focused on engineering bispecific antibodies to modulate inflammation in the tumor microenvironment and overcome resistance to the conventional immune checkpoint therapies. Learn more at www.immetas.com