Finland’s TILT raises €22m to progress cancer therapies

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Margarita Vais
© GettyImages/Margarita Vais

Related tags MSD T-cell checkpoint inhibitor TILT Biotherapeutics Cytokines

TILT Biotherapeutics, a Finnish company developing cancer immunotherapies, reported the final close of its €22m (US$23.8m) round, which was led by Finland’s Lifeline Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm.

The latest fundraising effort follows on from the first close of €10m in June last year.

The Helsinki based biotech said this final close of €12m includes €5.9m equity from the European Innovation Council (EIC) Fund, a €2.1m grant from EIC’s Accelerator program, as well as investments from Stephen Industries Inc Oy and ACME Investments SPF Sàrl.

The financing generated will be used to advance to Phase II the company’s combination trials that use oncolytic immunotherapies synergistically with checkpoint inhibitors.

TILT Biotherapeutics’ founder and CEO, Akseli Hemminki, said: “Our trials are progressing well through Phase I, and this new funding will support us in progressing them into Phase II, another key step for these new therapies to reach patients in a range of cancers.”

Immune respnse suppression 

The heart of TILT’s approach revolves around the use of armed oncolytic adenoviruses, using cytokines and other molecules to boost the patient’s immune response to better enable it to find and destroy cancer cells. Its patented TILT technology, which can be delivered locally and systemically, is designed to modify the tumor microenvironment and eliminate its ability to suppress immune responses to cancer, thereby enhancing T-cell therapies such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy, and CAR T therapies.

TILT’s lead asset, TILT-123, is a 5/3 chimeric serotype adenovirus armed with two human cytokines: TNF alpha and IL-2. TILT-123, it outlined, has demonstrated a 100% response rate in pre-clinical cancer models in vivo, and it is currently in Phase I clinical trials.

September last year the company sign a second clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with MSD for a new clinical trial evaluating TILT-123 in combination with Keytruda (pembrolizumab), MSD’s anti-PD-1 therapy.

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