Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Turnstone Biologics raises $41.4m to advance cancer immunotherapy

PBR Staff Writer Published 03 November 2016

Canada-based oncolytic viral immunotherapies developer Turnstone Biologics has raised $41.4m in a Series B venture financing.

The biotechnology company will use the proceeds from financing to accelerate and expand pipeline of oncolytic viral immunotherapies.

Turnstone CEO Sammy Farah said: “We are taking a rapid and expansive approach to clinical development with the goals of exploiting the full potential of our platform and positioning it to most benefit patients.”

Leading the series B round were new investors OrbiMed and F-Prime Capital Partners who joined the series A financing leaders and existing investors FACIT and Versant Ventures.

OrbiMed is an investment firm that caters to the healthcare sector exclusively with offices in New York City, San Francisco, Mumbai, Shanghai, and Herzliya.

OrbiMed partner Rishi Gupta said: "Because of its unique ability to elicit a potent T cell response and modify the tumor microenvironment, it holds great potential as both a standalone therapy and in combination with checkpoint inhibition, where we look forward to preliminary clinical data next year.”

Another new investor F-Prime Capital Partners is a multi-national venture capital company that invests in the fields of life sciences, healthcare and technology.

The series A financing allowed Turnstone Biologics to carry out the initial Phase I/II trial of its lead candidate besides establishing its safety, maximum tolerated dose along with initial evidence of immunological activity in patients having advanced solid and metastatic tumors.

On the other hand, the new capital from series B is expected to help in completing the ongoing Phase I/II trial besides funding three more clinical programs due to start in 2016 and 2017.

Turnstone's therapeutic platform is a tumor-targeted oncolytic vaccine that integrates potent tumor-killing effects of oncolytic viruses with the benefits of a cancer vaccine that harnesses the patient's own immune system to fight disease in a sustainable manner.