TILT Biotherapeutics (TILT), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies, has closed its €22 million ($23.8 million) round. This follows on from the first close of €10 million in June 2022.
The financing was led by Finland’s Lifeline Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm founded by serial entrepreneurs.
The funding will be used to advance the company’s combination trials to phase II. The trials use oncolytic immunotherapies synergistically with checkpoint inhibitors.
This final close of €12 million includes €5.9 million equity from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund as well as a €2.1 million grant from EIC’s Accelerator program, as well as investments from Stephen Industries Inc Oy and ACME Investments SPF Sàrl. The EIC Fund is TITL Biotherapeutics’ first significant international investor. The EIC investment decision followed a due diligence process by the European Investment Bank, which supports the EIC Fund as investment advisor.
TILT Biotherapeutics’ founder and CEO, Akseli Hemminki, is a cancer clinician who has personally treated hundreds of cancer patients with oncolytic viruses.
Hemminki said: “We’re pleased to have achieved this round of €22 million to advance our promising pipeline of armed oncolytic viruses. Our trials are progressing well through phase I, and this new funding will support us in progressing them into phase II, another key step for these new therapies to reach patients in a range of cancers.”
Hermann Hauser, member of the EIC Fund Board said: “Combining grants and equity is unique to the European Innovation Council. It bridges the funding gap for highly innovative companies, unlocks additional private investments and enables them to scale up in Europe.”
The heart of TILT Biotherapeutics’ innovative approach revolves around the use of armed oncolytic adenoviruses, using cytokines and other molecules to boost the patient’s immune response to better enable it to find and destroy cancer cells. The company is advancing its pipeline of programs, including its lead asset TILT-123, in further clinical trials, including in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors.