ImmuVen is developing a line of T cell receptor-related drugs. At first, the treatment will focus on infectious viral diseases such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which ImmuVen says it can halt by stopping the toxins secreted by MRSA. But the company also thinks that it can go beyond superbugs and use its technology to fight cancer.
The University of Illinois spinoff disclosed in a recent SEC filing that it had raised $250,000 and could continue to raise an unspecified amount of money. “Financially, we’re in the middle of a subscription round, and we’d like to have this subscription round take us through pre-IND meeting with the FDA,” said CEO Cheryl Quinn.
ImmuVen uses technology from University of Illinois professor David Kranz and University of Minnesota professor Patrick Schlievert to engineer protein-based drugs from modified T cell receptors. The drugs bind to and neutralize toxins secreted by bacteria in the body, rather than going after the bacteria itself as other drugs would.
Quinn said establishing a manufacturing process to get to the IND application could easily run $1 million, and the company might eventually seek a partner. Clinical trials are still years away.