Inceptor Bio generates $37m in funding round as it advances CAR-T platform into the clinic
Founded in 2020, Inceptor Bio was established with the goal of pursuing a diversified portfolio of cell therapy platforms across multiple cell types, with novel mechanisms that enhance immune cell performance within the tumor microenvironment.
The company, which is based in Research Triangle Park, Raleigh, North Carolina, currently has three cell therapy technologies: a CAR-T platform with a novel co-stimulatory technology, a CAR-M platform using macrophages with enhanced phagocytic capabilities, and a CAR-NK platform, and it looks to collaborate with scientists at academic institutions to license “groundbreaking” cell and gene technologies.
Proceeds from the Series A financing will be used to advance Inceptor Bio’s CAR-T lead program to a Phase I clinical trial and continue development of its CAR-M and CAR-NK platforms.
The company said the capital would also fund completion of its advanced manufacturing platform (AMP+) facility at its cell and gene therapy GMP manufacturing site in Gainesville, Florida.
In October last year, Inceptor Bio acquired that process development and GMP clinical manufacturing facility from CDMO, Arranta Bio, in a deal that included the transfer of a core operating team with the idea of establishing cell therapy processes and clinical supply for its planned oncology clinical trials.
“We have a simple strategy at Inceptor Bio. We’re advancing novel CAR-T, CAR-M and CAR-NK platforms into the clinic, securing our supply through AMP+, and building a leading team of scientists and engineers,” said Shailesh Maingi, founder and CEO, Inceptor Bio.
With its expert team and its scalable manufacturing facility, Inceptor Bio is well positioned to advance next-generation cell therapy technologies to address difficult-to-treat cancers, according to Frank Lis, president of Kineticos Ventures.
Taking on solid tumors
Chimeric Antigen Receptor Macrophage (CAR-M) therapy is a new frontier for harnessing immune cells to treat and cure cancer, noted Inceptor Bio last December as it announced an in-licensing agreement with the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) for a CAR-M therapy targeting difficult-to-treat tumors.
Macrophage cells naturally engulf viruses and bacteria through a process called phagocytosis, and when combined with a CAR construct to form a CAR-M, they can selectively target and engulf cancer cells and generate an immune response via modulation of the tumor microenvironment, said the developer.
"Our aim for this cutting-edge technology is to transform how solid tumors are treated," said Maingi.