PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 12, 2016 -- Tmunity Therapeutics today announced that it is raising $10 Million in equity financing from Penn Medicine, the academic medical center of the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), and Lilly Asia Ventures, a premier venture capital firm focused on making investments in the life sciences sector. The financing will represent the first capital investment for Penn Medicine in a company co-founded by Penn faculty and researchers. The proceeds of the financing will be used to develop novel products to unleash the immunological potential of T cells to treat a wide range of diseases. Tmunity is developing novel T Cell Receptor (TCR) engineered T cells, regulatory T cells (Treg), and universal engineered T cell platforms that exhibit best-in-class control over T cell activation and direction in vivo. The company is also developing proprietary technologies to activate, expand, and genetically engineer T cells from peripheral blood, cord blood and tumors. These will rapidly advance toward the clinic personalized next-generation engineered T cell immunotherapies for cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmune disease.
"The creation of Tmunity is the culmination of a more than decade-long commitment by Penn and our founding team to link basic and translational research with clinical trial investigation, and will ensure that we remain at the leading edge in advancing cell therapies for multiple diseases," said Carl H. June, MD, co-founder and chief scientific advisor of Tmunity Therapeutics. "Tmunity has pulled together all of the capabilities needed to quickly translate personalized next-generation T cell therapies from the bench to the bedside, including: best-in-class research capabilities, a proprietary manufacturing platform, and a founding team with a leading track record and nearly two decades of experience in executing safe and effective cell and gene therapy clinical trials."
Tmunity builds on the work of Penn's Center for Cellular Immunotherapies (CCI), which has over 15 years of specialized regulatory experience in initiating first in human cell and gene therapy trials, with 25 investigational new drug applications opened. Penn's CCI works with a network of clinical investigators trained to conduct high impact gene and cell therapy trials in many disease indications and with clinical operations teams that have set up and managed multi-site clinical trials across the United States. Tmunity's expertise in the advancement of novel therapeutics builds on this legacy of innovation and excellence in cell and gene therapy established by Tmunity's co-founders at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Many of Tmunity's scientific co-founders are affiliated with Penn's CCI and will engage with Tmunity as scientific advisors, including Carl H. June, MD, a T-cell therapy pioneer, who is also director of the CCI.