TxCell raises cash for first-in-man CAR-Treg cell therapy study

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

TxCell has raised €11m ($11.6m) through a share issue which it will use to fund first-in-man study of one of its cell therapy candidates.

The shares were bought by new backers like Auriga Ventures II and ING Luxembourg a S.A. as well as existing TxCell investors Innobio FCPR and Bpifrance Participation Large Venture.

CEO Stephane Boissel told us "TxCell has realigned its strategy, being the first to move into the Car-Treg field in auto-immune diseases. The finance will help TxCell to get through to a first IND approval to initiate a first-in-man study with a CAR-Treg candidate, which is expected by the end of 2018.

He added that: "This study will be a world first. It most likely would be in solid organ transplantation, to treat or prevent chronic rejection.​ 

TxCell has four CAR-Treg candidates in his pipeline. Three are for the treatment of diseases, specifically lupus nephritis, bullous pemphigoid and multiple sclerosis. The fourth is designed to prevent graft-versus-host disease after transplantation.

All four were developed using the firm’s ENTrIA platform which uses CARs to direct antigen-specific regulatory cells (Ag-Tregs) to target autoimmune inflammatory diseases.

All four are listed as being in early phase development on TxCell’s website.

Two of the therapies, the GvHD treatment – ENTX#SOT – and the lupus candidate ENTX#LN – are the subject of preclinical research accords signed last year.

ENTX#BP, which is being developed as a treatment for the rare skin blistering disease bullous pemphigoid, is also the focus of a preclinical research partnership.

However, when TxCell announced the deal with the Lubeck Institute of Experimental Dermatology (LIED) in June​ it said the aim was to conduct “non-clinical pharmacology studies with CAR-Treg cells to prepare for a first-in-man study​.”

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