Shennon Biotechnologies, a biotech company, recently announced the close of an oversubscribed seed financing round of $13M. The round was led by DCVC, with participation from Foundation Capital, AV8, and angel investors. The funds raised will be used to expand the capabilities of the company’s proprietary single-cell functional screening platform and accelerate the discovery of immunotherapy targets to build a pipeline of effective targets for solid tumors.
ShennonBio was founded in 2021 and has developed a platform that can profile millions of immune cells functionally at the single-cell level within a few hours. The platform enables the identification of TCR or antibody targets to develop more precise and effective immunotherapies. In the last 1.5 years, ShennonBio has established collaborations with multiple clinical centers to study patient samples and has identified rare, functionally activated T cells, demonstrating the power of its platform.
Developing effective cancer immunotherapies requires finding the right target effector immune cell to expand or create them on a massive scale outside of the body. However, identifying cancer antigen-specific immune cells is challenging due to the enormous diversity of immune cells. Searching for the right T cell or B cell that can recognize cancer antigens and effectively attack cancer cells is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Most current technologies developed cannot functionally profile such a massive number of cells at the single-cell level, and it often takes weeks, if not months, to isolate a relevant target.
ShennonBio’s technology overcomes this bottleneck in immunotherapy target discovery by enabling functional profiling of immune cells at the single-cell level at unprecedented throughput, enabling target identification and selection within a day. ShennonBio’s platform can identify rare effector T cells against specific antigens at ultrahigh throughput by measuring functional secretion. This technology ultimately increases the overall probability of generating a curative treatment in a shorter period for cancer patients.
Dr. Joseph Fraietta, Director of the Solid Tumor Immunotherapy Lab at the University of Pennsylvania and a scientific advisor for ShennonBio, believes that the company’s technology has the potential to overcome a key bottleneck in immunotherapy by identifying rare antigen-specific immune cells through enabling high-throughput analysis of functional pairing between effector and target cells in a way that was previously impossible.
Li Sun, Ph.D., CEO & Founder, Shennon Biotechnologies, stated that the interdisciplinary team of engineers and scientists at ShennonBio has developed a single-cell screening platform that can identify rare effector T cells against specific antigens at ultrahigh throughput by measuring functional secretion. While current approaches take weeks to isolate a T cell target, ShennonBio’s technology platform can do this in a matter of hours with more precision.
James Hardiman, Partner at DCVC, said that Li is leading a company with a bold vision to revolutionize the field of immunotherapy, and the company’s innovative approach has the potential to make a significant impact in the industry.
Ruchita Sinha, General Partner at AV8, praised Li’s passion and vision for building a company that addresses existing bottlenecks in developing effective immunotherapies. ShennonBio’s proprietary platform provides a powerful and ultra high throughput way to profile immune cell interactions at a single-cell level, enabling better development of T cell therapies not only for Shennon but also for the broader ecosystem.
Shennon Biotechnologies has developed a groundbreaking single-cell functional screening platform that enables the identification of TCR or antibody targets to develop more precise and effective immunotherapies. The recent funding will allow the company to expand the capabilities of its platform and scale discovery efforts to build a pipeline of effective targets for solid tumors, ultimately increasing the probability of generating a curative treatment in a shorter period for cancer patients.