On the heels of an Eli Lilly deal, NextCure’s hot hand in I/O attracts a $93M trans-Pacific venture round

On the heels of an Eli Lilly deal, NextCure’s hot hand in I/O attracts a $93M trans-Pacific venture round
<span>Last week Eli Lilly showed their faith in NextCure by fronting an im&shy;muno-on&shy;col&shy;ogy col&shy;lab&shy;o&shy;ra&shy;tion with $40 mil&shy;lion in up&shy;front and eq&shy;uity cash. This week the biotech is com&shy;ing out with a $93 mil&shy;lion raise to help il&shy;lus&shy;trate how trendy I/O re&shy;mains in ven&shy;ture cir&shy;cles &mdash; es&shy;pe&shy;cially if you promise to break some new ground in the field.</span>

 

by john carroll — on 
Updated: 

Last week Eli Lilly showed their faith in NextCure by fronting an im­muno-on­col­ogy col­lab­o­ra­tion with $40 mil­lion in up­front and eq­uity cash. This week the biotech is com­ing out with a $93 mil­lion raise to help il­lus­trate how trendy I/O re­mains in ven­ture cir­cles — es­pe­cially if you promise to break some new ground in the field.

Michael Rich­man

Ex­perts in ex­plor­ing the sur­face of cells in the de­vel­op­ment of new can­cer ther­a­pies, their lead drug is in pre­clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. NC318 tar­gets S15, which the com­pany be­lieves helps myeloid cells sur­vive and thrive, while tap­ping down on the T cell re­sponses that are now being dri­ven by a host of drugs in the clinic.

“Things have changed,” says CEO Michael Rich­man. “There’s a lit­tle I/O fa­tigue.”

NextCure, though, isn’t an­other PD-1/L1 play. They plan to go into novel areas, which NextCure sees as the true next-gen ap­proach to im­muno-on­col­ogy.

“Our goal from the be­gin­ning: What about the non re­spon­ders?” he adds.

Lieping Chen

Their sci­en­tific founder is Lieping Chen, a can­cer re­search pro­fes­sor at Yale. The pro­fes­sor was also a sci­en­tific founder at Am­plim­mune, which Rich­man and some of his col­leagues ran be­fore sell­ing the com­pany to As­traZeneca 5 years ago.

An ex­pert in im­munol­ogy, Chen brings some broad tal­ents in the field, giv­ing Beltsville, MD-based NextCure a shot at de­vel­op­ing a much broader pipeline that ex­tends into au­toim­mune dis­eases and anti-in­flam­ma­tory con­di­tions — with im­pli­ca­tions for CNS ail­ments.

An­other el­e­ment that sets the com­pany apart, says the CEO, is that NextCure has its own GMP man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity for the drugs it is test­ing. And that gives them con­trol of the en­tire pre-IND pack­age.

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Source: endpts.com