Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Harpoon Therapeutics raises $45m in new funding round

Published 26 May 2017

Harpoon Therapeutics has secured $45m in Series B financing, which included new investors Arix Bioscience, New Leaf Venture Partners and Taiho Ventures along with existing investor MPM Capital.

The financing was co-led by Arix Bioscience and New Leaf Venture Partners. Mark Chin, Investment Manager at Arix, and Ron Hunt, Managing Director at New Leaf, will join the Harpoon Therapeutics board of directors. In addition, Sakae Asanuma, President of Taiho Ventures, will join the board of directors in an observer capacity.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Harpoon Therapeutics’ novel, proprietary, tri-specific T-cell activating construct (TriTAC) immuno-oncology platform, including moving two lead programs into clinical trials and expanding the product pipeline through discovery and partnering initiatives.

In addition, the company is increasing its commitment to developing additional therapeutic platforms including those that become activated by proteases present in the tumor microenvironment.

“We are delighted to have top-tier investors supporting the Series B financing, and welcome new investors as Harpoon shareholders,” said Jerry McMahon, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harpoon Therapeutics.

“This investment is a clear validation of Harpoon’s TriTAC platform, which offers a new way to unleash the targeted cell-killing properties of a patient’s own immune system with a potential best-in-class T-cell engager platform.”

“We have been strong advocates of Harpoon Therapeutics from inception, and are pleased to participate in this latest round of financing, which provides capital to transition Harpoon to a clinical-stage company as well as to advance critical discovery and research efforts,” said Luke Evnin, PhD, Co-Founder and Chairman of Harpoon, and Founder and Managing Director at MPM Capital.

“Harpoon Therapeutics has a novel, T-cell engager platform which we believe will be instrumental to the discovery and development of important new therapeutics in oncology,” said Mark Chin, Investment Manager at Arix Bioscience, a global healthcare and life science company supporting medical innovation. “Coupled with its scientific expertise and strong management team, Harpoon is well-positioned to play a leading role in the immuno-oncology field.”

“New Leaf looks for experienced management teams, strong science and high-impact clinical benefit potential, all of which Harpoon Therapeutics significantly offers,” said Ron Hunt, Managing Director at New Leaf Venture Partners, a leader in healthcare investing. “We are pleased to be co-leading this Harpoon investment with Arix and look forward to helping the company make important strides as it continues to advance its pipeline.”

Harpoon’s first clinical candidate, HPN424, is a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeting TriTAC. HPN424 is in development for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer and is expected to enter Phase 1 clinical trials in 2018. The company anticipates identifying and moving into development additional clinical candidates within the next year.

Source: Company Press Release