Novel CryptigenTM technology unlocks full potential of Tumour Specific Antigens

Epitopea, a transatlantic cancer immunotherapeutics company and global leader in exploiting a new class of untapped tumour-specific antigens (TSAs), announces a $13.6M (£10.3M) seed investment from a transatlantic syndicate of top-tier life sciences investors, including Advent Life Sciences, CTI Life Sciences, Cambridge Innovation Capital (CIC) and Fonds de solidarité FTQ. The seed round was also supported by Novateur Ventures and the Harrington Discovery Institute/University Health Holdings. The funding will leverage Epitopea’s ground-breaking CryptigenTM approach to create transformational immunotherapies that target broad cancer patient populations in both solid and haematological cancers.

The company’s proprietary technology provides an innovative approach to identifying shared, aberrantly expressed tumour specific antigens, known as CryptigensTM, that it has exclusively licensed from the Université de Montréal (UdeM). The licensing deal was catalysed by IRICoR, a Canadian Centre of Excellence in Commercialization and Research, which supported and incubated the development of the technology. CryptigenTM TSAs are uniquely and broadly presented across cancer types, providing tumour-specific targets for immunotherapies that are predicted to kill malignant cells while sparing non-cancerous cells, potentially delivering significant therapeutic benefit across broad patient populations with minimal side effects.

The seed round funding will be used to build the company’s executive team, advance further research on this new class of antigens, and catalyse their translation into novel cancer immunotherapeutics, including therapeutic vaccines, cell therapies, and TCR-based biologics.

Dr Jon Moore, CEO, Epitopea and Operating Partner at Advent Life Sciences, said:

“The outstanding work of Epitopea’s co-founders, Université de Montréal scientists Drs. Claude Perreault, and Pierre Thibault, has opened a tremendous and potentially transformative opportunity for future cancer patients. With this significant seed financing by a syndicate of world-class investors from Canada and the UK, we can start translating these discoveries into novel therapeutics. We will be guided by science, deploying the best modalities available to help cancer patients achieve durable benefits.”

Dr Laurence Rulleau, Partner, CTI Life Sciences, said:

“CTI is delighted to co-lead the seed round of Epitopea, which is the first investment from our third fund, CTI LSF III. We are convinced that Epitopea has the potential to fundamentally change the paradigm of how cancer patients can be treated with therapeutics vaccines and other immunotherapies to significantly improve their quality of life. Epitopea will explore a variety of early and longer-term value creation strategies including partnerships with third parties as well as developing its own therapeutic modalities based on its CryptigenTM TSAs.”