ST. LOUIS — St. Louis-based clinical-stage biotechnology company Immunophotonics, which is developing a drug to provide anticancer immunity, has raised $21.4 million to advance clinical trials of its cancer treatment.
The St. Louis startup’s Series B round was led by new investors Zubizoom Investments LLC and ROVAQ Ventures LLC and existing investors Immune LLC and St. Louis-based iSelectFund. The company said serial St. Louis entrepreneur Jim McKelvey, co-founder of payments company Block (NY:SQ), is affiliated with Immune LLC and Zubizoom Investments is the investment fund of Miguel Zubizarreta, a board member of the startup and former chief technology officer of Westlake, Ohio-based Hyland Software.
Immunophotonics said it plans to use the new capital to support clinical trials of its lead drug candidate and to pursue non-clinical research to discover other applications of its technology “both within and outside the field of oncology.” Its lead drug candidate, IP-001, is designed to treat solid tumors and to be used immediately after a tumor ablation, a procedure that dismantles a tumor within the body, and includes immune-activating technology aimed at spurring immunity throughout the body.
“Our local injection of our drug after a routine local tumor ablation is intended to induce a systemic or whole body immune response against your cancer,” said said Lu Alleruzzo, co-founder and CEO of Immunophotonics
The Series B funding for Immunophotonics comes as it recently dosed the first patients in a second phase of a clinical trial in Switzerland. The company said plans to expand its clinical trial into other European nations in the near future.
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