Synthekine Secures $100 Million Series C Financing to Advance Pipeline of Engineered Cytokine Therapeutics
Funds to support continued clinical development of selective IL-2 partial agonist, STK-012, and orthogonal IL-2 + CD19 CAR-T combination therapy, STK-009 + SYNCAR-001, as well as advancement of preclinical pipeline
Company to present at 41st Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference at 1:30 p.m. PT on January 10, 2023
MENLO PARK, CA – January 6, 2023 – Synthekine Inc., an engineered cytokine therapeutics company, today announced the closing of a $100 million Series C financing led by The Column Group, with participation from both new and existing investors. Debanjan Ray, Synthekine’s chief executive officer, will present a corporate overview at the 41st Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference at 1:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday, January 10.
“Synthekine has made significant progress since our founding in 2019. We have advanced our alpha/beta-biased IL-2 partial agonist, STK-012, into the clinic, developed a novel cytokine approach to empower CAR-Ts and other adoptive cell therapies, matured our three distinct cytokine engineering platforms, and secured our first pharmaceutical partnership through a deal with Merck,” said Ray. “We are thankful for the support from these elite healthcare investors, which enables us to pursue our bold vision of advancing novel cytokine science to benefit patients with debilitating cancers and inflammatory diseases.”
Proceeds of the financing will be used to advance Synthekine’s differentiated therapeutic pipeline, led by its alpha/beta-biased IL-2 partial agonist, STK-012, which is currently in a Phase 1 clinical trial. In addition, it will support upcoming clinical studies of its orthogonal IL-2 and CD19 CAR-T combination therapy, STK-009 + SYNCAR-001, which the company anticipates to begin early this year.
Funds will also be used to progress the company’s IL-12 partial agonist program, which is currently in IND-enabling studies. IL-12 is a potent cytokine with potential for the treatment of cancer, but administration of unmodified forms of the cytokine have been limited by a narrow therapeutic window, including life-threatening toxicities in patients. Preclinical data for Synthekine’s IL-12 partial agonist program demonstrates potent anti-tumor efficacy in mouse models while avoiding induction of systemic toxicity. In addition, funds will also be used to advance toward clinical investigation its orthogonal IL-2 system with a GPC3 CAR-T therapy. Preclinical data for this program, the company’s first cell therapy program for solid tumors, were presented at AACR 2022.
Synthekine is harnessing the potential of cytokine therapeutics to develop selective immunotherapies designed to improve the treatment paradigm of cancer and inflammatory disease. Using insights on cytokine structure and function, the company engineers therapeutics designed to unlock the full efficacy potential of cytokines while avoiding their associated toxicities. Synthekine is applying principles of cytokine partial agonism and immunological specificity across multiple protein engineering platforms to create a broad and deep pipeline of product candidates. These novel immunotherapies include modified cytokines, cytokine-enhanced cell therapies and surrogate cytokine agonists. For more information, visit www.www.synthekine.com, and follow us on Twitter @synthekine and LinkedIn.