Synthekine Inc., a firm developing modified cytokine therapies, announced today the completion of a $100 million Series C fundraising led by The Column Group, with participation from new and current investors. Debanjan Ray, Synthekine’s CEO, will give a company overview at the 41st Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, January 10 at 1:30 p.m. PT.
The proceeds of the financing will be utilized to promote Synthekine’s differentiated therapeutic portfolio, which includes STK-012, an alpha/beta-biased IL-2 partial agonist that is now in Phase 1 clinical trials. Furthermore, it will assist planned clinical trials of STK-009 + SYNCAR-001, an orthogonal IL-2 and CD19 CAR-T combination therapy, which the company expects to commence early this year.
The funds will also be utilized to advance the company’s IL-12 partial agonist development, which is now in the IND-enabling stage. IL-12 is a strong cytokine with cancer-fighting potential, however administration of unmodified forms of the cytokine has been hampered by a tight therapeutic window, including life-threatening toxicities in patients. Preclinical studies for Synthekine’s IL-12 partial agonist program show substantial anti-tumor effectiveness in mice models while avoiding systemic toxicity induction. Furthermore, money will be used to progress its orthogonal IL-2 system with a GPC3 CAR-T treatment toward clinical inquiry. This program, the company’s first cell treatment initiative for solid tumors, presented preclinical data at AACR 2022.
Synthekine is harnessing the potential of cytokine therapeutics to develop selective immunotherapies designed to improve the treatment paradigm of cancer and inflammatory disease. Using insights on cytokine structure and function, the company engineers therapeutics designed to unlock the full efficacy potential of cytokines while avoiding their associated toxicities. Synthekine is applying principles of cytokine partial agonism and immunological specificity across multiple protein engineering platforms to create a broad and deep pipeline of product candidates.