5:33 AM
 | 
Aug 08, 2018
 |  BC Extra  |  Financial News

SQZ raises $72M series C

Cell therapy company SQZ Biotechnologies Co. (Watertown, Mass.) raised $72 million in an oversubscribed, untranched series C round. New investors Everblue, Illumina Ventures, Invus, Orient Life and Viva Ventures Biotech Group participated, as did existing investors Bridger Healthcare Partners, Quark Ventures' Global Health Science Fund, GV, The JDRF T1D Fund, NanoDimension and Polaris.

SQZ is developing antigen presenting cell (APC) therapies for cancer indications to deliver tumor-associated antigens that prime and activate a patient’s endogenous killer T cells against a target of choice. The company's platform engineers cells by injecting bioactive materials, including proteins and peptides, directly into the cytosol without affecting cell health (see "SQZ Biotech's Main Squeeze").

Co-founder and CEO Armon Sharei told BioCentury that the company is initially developing lead candidate SQZ-APC to treat HPV+ tumors, including cervical cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). He said SQZ plans to submit an IND for SQZ-APC by year end and could begin dosing patients by late 2018 to early 2019.

Bridger's Marc Elia and Quark's Zafi Avnur joined SQZ's board.

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