A company developing agonists that stimulate immune cells today (September 26) announced it has secured €13 million ($12.6 million) in series A funding.
Kupando says it will use the funds to complete IND-enabling work and to initiate the clinical development its lead candidate, KUP101 in a solid tumor indication.
KUP101 is the only TLR 4/7 agonist in development, and consists of two small molecules, a TLR 4 agonist and a TLR 7 agonist, co-encapsulated in a liposomal formulation.
The compounds induce a broad immune response, which will facilitate their development as an anti-tumor agent, as a stand-alone product, in combination with other anti-tumor modalities, or a prophylactic vaccine for infectious diseases.
The induction of cross-reactive antibodies and a broad cellular response are promising features for a broad portfolio of indications, in particular where different strains and antigens play a role like influenza, HPV and others. A high target specificity in the absence of relevant off-targets are indicators for a promising safety profile.
The investment was led by Remiges Ventures and co-led by LifeCare Partners with an additional investment by Brandenburg Kapital, High-Tech Gründerfonds, Ventura Biomed Investors and undisclosed family offices.
Kupando has made tremendous progress
Kazuhiko Nonomura, principal at Remiges Ventures, the lead investor, said: “We are impressed by the tremendous progress made by Kupando since its inception. Kupando is a real pioneer in the development of a novel innate immunity stimulator, and we look forward to working with the team and supporting the advancement of KUP101 into clinical development.”
Kupando says its mission is to provide, not only a safe but also affordable, immunotherapy to cancer patients, and to develop immunostimulatory agents with the means to prevent infectious diseases.
Proof-of-concept data have been confirmed in multiple animal experiments and independent research units. IND-enabling work is ongoing for the treatment of solid tumors and the prevention of infectious diseases.
Pierre Morgon, Chairman at Kupando, added: “We are welcoming all our new investors of this round. We thank them for their trust in this truly disruptive approach which has the potential to provide new therapeutic and prophylactic options in the fields of oncology and infectious diseases. We believe that the highly experienced management team will enable the company to progress through this next stage of development.”