CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SURGE Therapeutics (SURGE), a biotech company pioneering the delivery of immunotherapy during cancer surgery, announced today the completion of a $32 million Series B financing led by Bioluminescence Ventures, with participation from KdT Ventures, Piedmont Capital, and existing investors 8VC, Alumni Ventures, Camford Capital, Cancer Research Institute, Intuitive Ventures, Khosla Ventures, and Pitango HealthTech.
The funding will be used to further development of the SURGE™ intraoperative immunotherapy approach, expand the team, and advance multiple clinical trials for its injectable biodegradable hydrogel, which may be administered during any surgical oncology procedure. In connection with the financing, Kouki Harasaki, Ph.D., Managing Partner at Bioluminescence Ventures, will join SURGE’s Board of Directors.
The company recently dosed the first two patients in a Phase 1/2a trial for its lead intraoperative immunotherapy candidate, STM-416, in patients with recurrent bladder cancer – a major unmet medical need – to improve post-resection outcomes. SURGE’s intraoperative approach enables extended, localized release of immunotherapy at the site of surgical tumor resection. This intervention may prevent tumor relapse and induce systemic antitumor immunity, potentially eliminating existing micrometastases.
“The capital that we have raised to date will allow SURGE to generate proof-of-concept event-free survival data with our lead program and advance our second and third programs through Phase 1,” said Michael Goldberg, Ph.D., CEO & Founder, SURGE Therapeutics. “Intraoperative immunotherapy is a platform approach that can potentially confer clinical benefit across multiple cancer types, using different molecules. Surgery is the standard of care for most patients with solid tumors, and it is common for a small number of cancer cells to remain behind. Our mission is to ensure that nobody grieves the loss of a loved one due to preventable post-surgical cancer recurrence.”
“Currently, cancer surgery is a physical intervention only. Physicians typically do not administer any kind of immunotherapy during surgical tumor resection, which we believe is a missed opportunity, as post-surgical recurrence and metastasis account for 90 percent of cancer-related deaths,” said Kouki Harasaki, Ph.D., Managing Partner, Bioluminescence Ventures. “SURGE has a unique first-mover advantage in the intraoperative immunotherapy space to potentially improve patient outcomes and become the standard of care as a seamless complement to surgery. We are very excited about working with the SURGE team towards realizing this objective.”
Reprogramming the body’s response to surgery from immunosuppressive to immunostimulatory may trigger the patient’s immune system to destroy both local and distal residual cancer cells, reducing recurrence and improving survival. In multiple aggressive murine models of metastasizing cancer, intraoperative immunotherapy vastly improved survival benefit relative to traditional routes of administration, whether systemic or local. Confirmation in patients could represent a major advancement in cancer care.
About SURGE Therapeutics
SURGE Therapeutics (The Intraoperative Immunotherapy Company™) seeks to dramatically improve cancer patient survival by disrupting how, when, and where cancer immunotherapy is deployed. The SURGERx™ platform is designed to improve the efficacy and safety of immunotherapy treatment, concentrating the effective dose where and when it may yield tremendous impact. SURGE is based in Cambridge, MA. For more information, visit https://surgetx.com and follow us on LinkedIn.
SURGE, SURGE Therapeutics, SURGERx, and The Intraoperative Immunotherapy Company are trademarks of SURGE Therapeutics, Inc.