Janux Therapuetics announced today that it closed a $56 million Series A financing as it develops its T cell engager technology.
Avalon Ventures led the financing round, while new investors OrbiMed and RA Capital Management joined in. Additionally, existing investors Bregua and Correlation Ventures participated. OrbiMed partner Dr. Peter Thompson and RA Capital Management partner Jake Simson will join Janux’s board of directors, according to a news release.
Funding is set to help San Diego-based Janux as it develops its proprietary tumor-activated T cell engager (TRACTr) technology designed to overcome the current limitations in T cell immuno-oncology therapies. TRACTr technology is designed to integrate tumor-specific activation with crossover pharmacokinetics to produce strong T cell engager therapeutics.
Janux’s TRACTr drug candidates have demonstrated comparable anti-tumor efficacy related to standard T cell engagers, the company said, but don’t have the associated liabilities related to cytokine release, healthy tissue toxicities or systemic immune activation.
The money raised will be used to advance the company’s preclinical pipeline, which includes the TROP2-TRACTr and PSMA-TRACTr, as the company expects to advance its first candidate into the clinic in the first half of next year.
“We are pleased to close this financing round with a top-tier investor syndicate who recognize the potential of our TRACTr technology to engineer best-in-class T cell engagers to provide better outcomes for cancer patients,” Janux president & CEO David Campbell said in the release. “With this financing, we’re focused on advancing our deep pipeline of T cell engager immunotherapies for the treatment of various cancers. We anticipate that the first of several development candidates will be entering the clinic next year for a solid tumor indication.”