FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cartography Biosciences, a precision medicine company creating therapeutics guided by the first-ever comprehensive antigen atlas for immuno-oncology targets, launched today with $57 million in initial funding. 8VC led the company’s Series A financing with strong participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), which led Cartography’s seed financing, and Wing VC, which was also a seed investor. The Series A financing was joined by new investors Catalio Capital Management, ARTIS Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, AME Cloud Ventures, the Cancer Research Institute, and Gaingels. The company plans to use the proceeds to advance a pipeline of therapeutics designed to broaden the reach of next-generation cancer therapies, as well as conduct a breadth of discovery programs designed to identify novel, best-in-class target antigens across a range of cancer indications.
Cartography is led by CEO Kevin Parker, Ph.D., who founded the company alongside noted Stanford University physician-scientist-entrepreneurs Ansu Satpathy, M.D., Ph.D., and Howard Chang, M.D., Ph.D., who each head world-renowned genomics laboratories. Cartography's platform integrates cutting-edge computational and experimental techniques, including single-cell genomics and proteomics, with high-throughput binder discovery capabilities. The company has already profiled millions of cells across thousands of samples from both cancerous and healthy tissue. Their robust, cell-by-cell atlas identifies optimal antigens by predicting both efficacy and off-target effects for binders against that target.
“Immunotherapies can only be as effective as the antigens they target. In order to bring the tremendous potential of immunotherapy to otherwise untreatable cancers, we first need to identify precise antigen targets for those cancers,” Parker said. “Cartography is building a platform and atlas to reveal the targets that will most directly benefit patients by analyzing cancers through the lens of antigen expression rather than histology or genetic mutations. We’re pleased to have the backing of world-class investors to support our first-principles approach to the development of precise, effective immunotherapies.”
Cartography is using its modality-agnostic antigen profiling platform as a roadmap to create novel immunotherapies by identifying the targets that maximize efficacy while minimizing potentially toxic side effects. With processes driven by advanced computation and genomics workflows, Cartography condenses the timeline from sample intake to novel target discovery to a span of less than 6 months.
“Cartography has developed the most sophisticated methodology in the field of immunotherapy for expanding the reach of cell therapy and next-generation antibody approaches,” said David Moskowitz, Ph.D., Principal at 8VC. “The massive strides over the last decade have established effective modalities, and now it is the time to act with urgency to deliver on that promise. In 2021, over 600,000 people succumbed to cancer in the U.S. alone1, while only a small fraction of those patients were eligible for FDA-approved CAR T therapies. Cartography is charting the course for curing the long tail of disease."
“Fueled by the need to improve how cancer is classified and therefore treated, Cartography is generating comprehensive data about target expression across cell types with a level of depth and precision we’ve never previously been able to produce,” said Jorge Conde, General Partner at a16z. “It’s an exciting opportunity to bring a focused, data-driven approach to a longstanding biological problem and create powerful therapeutics from a resource that will drive precision medicine development for many years to come.”
Cartography's founding scientific team includes Maxwell Mumbach, Ph.D., Caleb Lareau, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Verboon. The company’s Scientific Advisory Board is led by Carl June, M.D., along with Emma Lundberg, Ph.D., Angela Shen, M.D., M.B.A., and Joseph Fraietta, Ph.D.
“The Cartography team is taking head-on the challenging problem of target selection for immunotherapies in a groundbreaking way that is applicable to many therapeutic modalities,” June said. “Given the significant unmet needs we can address by expanding the promise of immunotherapy, I’m excited for the company’s pipeline of therapies to grow and reach patients.”
About Cartography Biosciences
Cartography Biosciences is a therapeutics company creating the first atlas to identify targets that are specific enough to only engage cancerous cells, broad enough to work across cancer cells and patients, and safe enough to sidestep toxic side effects. Founded by Kevin Parker, Howard Chang, and Ansu Satpathy, Cartography is bridging immunology and computation to understand the critical differences between normal and cancerous cells, ultimately solving the challenge of finding the safest, most selective targets for a variety of immunotherapeutic approaches. The company’s investors include 8VC, a16z, Wing VC, Catalio Capital Management, ARTIS Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, AME Cloud Ventures, the Cancer Research Institute, and Gaingels. To learn more about Cartography, visit cartography.bio and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @cartographybio.