ARTICLE | Finance

Lighting up neoantigens

How Third Rock start-up Neon plans to tap neoantigen biology for cancer

October 5, 2015 7:00 AM UTC

Investors led by Third Rock Ventures put $55 million into Neon Therapeutics Inc. to exploit recently discovered neoantigen biology from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Neon will develop both personalized and allogeneic therapeutic vaccines and T cell therapies for cancer that preclinical models suggest could be as effective as checkpoint inhibition.

According to Third Rock partner and Neon interim CEO Cary Pfeffer, neoantigens result from mutations that occur during tumor growth and are recognized by the immune system as foreign. He said the potential importance of neoantigens has only come into focus with the advent of PD-1 and other checkpoint inhibitors. ...