Pharma

Biopharma using fungal carbohydrate for innovative cancer immunotherapy raises $3.6M

Biopharma startup ImmuneXcite is developing an immunotherapy to treat cancer that depends an innovative catalyst — a fungal carbohydrate. The life science innovation relies on neutrophils, white blood cells that represent the body’s first defense against fungal and bacteria infections. By chemically linking this carbohydrate to cancer-targeting monoclonal antibodies, neutrophils are drawn to the site […]

Biopharma startup ImmuneXcite is developing an immunotherapy to treat cancer that depends an innovative catalyst — a fungal carbohydrate.

The life science innovation relies on neutrophils, white blood cells that represent the body’s first defense against fungal and bacteria infections. By chemically linking this carbohydrate to cancer-targeting monoclonal antibodies, neutrophils are drawn to the site of tumors and initiate destruction, according to a company statement.

The scientific founder of Lexington, Mass.-based  ImmuneXcite discovered the fungal carbohydrate.  In a Series B round, the company secured $3.58 million in second-round financing from new and existing private investors. In 2011, it raised $2.42 million in its first round of financing and also received a $1 million accelerator loan from the Massachusetts Life Science Center.

The funding will help the company advance its technology toward an investigational new drug filing.

Among the company’s backers are Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Department of Defense, Massachusetts Life Science Center, National Cancer Institute, and private investors.