Immunotherapy company TCR2 Therapeutics Inc has filed to raise $100 million (about Rs. 700 crores) in an IPO on NASDAQ. The company aims to bring at least one of its cell therapy programs to the clinic next year.
Immunotherapy is a new branch of medicine that treats diseases by suppressing or activating the body’s immune system. The body’s immune system is critical for defense against infection and diseases like cancer. Scientists have developed new insights into using the immune system’s mechanisms for fighting cancer. This has led to rapid advances in the development of immunotherapies.
Many of these immunotherapies center around T-cells. T-cells are a type of white blood cell that detects infections and cellular abnormalities. Companies have been able to engineer T-cells and add the patients’ own living T cells with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) or engineered T cell receptors (TCRs). This enables the body to kill cancerous tumor cells.
TCR2 is developing T cell receptor fusion constructs (TRuCs), which contains tumor antigen recognition domains combined to TCRs. TCR2 believes that their treatment has greater activity against solid tumors than CAR T therapies, and broader applicability than TCR therapies.
The company will use the IPO proceeds for improvement, trials, and manufacturing to support:
Stockholders of TCR2 include MPM Capital, F2 Capital, UBS Oncology Impact Fund L.P., 6 Dimensions Capital, Curative Ventures and Mirai Asset. In this, MPM Capital and F2 Capital own more than 15% of TCR2's shares each. UBS Oncology Impact Fund owns 14.9%, Cathay Fortune Capital owns 10.7%, 6 Dimensions Capital owns 8.9% and Mirae Asset owns 5.3%.
6 Dimensions, which is backed by a group of Chinese investors, co-led TCR2's $125 million March series B round. 6 Dimensions will provide access to TCR2 of development and manufacturing partners in China.
TCR2 is based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. TCR2 has raised $170 million in venture funding since being founded in 2015.