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Thymmune Secures $7M in Seed Financing to Develop Thymus Cell Therapy Platform for Immune System Renewal
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 1, 2023-- Thymmune Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing scalable thymic cell therapies to restore immune function in aging and disease, announced today that it has secured $7 million in seed financing led by Pillar VC, with participation from NYBC Ventures and other investors. Its investor base includes industry pioneers Mark Bamforth, Founder of Brammer Bio and Arranta Bio, James Fordyce, John Maraganore, Ph.D., Former Founding CEO at Alnylam, Judy Pagliuca at PagsGroup, and Philip Reilly, M.D., J.D., along with George Church, Ph.D., who is a scientific advisor to the company.
The financing will be used to advance Thymmune’s lead product THY-100 into preclinical studies in immune system disorders caused by thymic deficiencies (such as children born without a thymus), which result in a lack of functional T cells. The funding will also be used to develop its thymic cell engineering platform and expand into additional indications across areas of unmet clinical need in immunology.
The thymus is a critical organ in the immune system that regulates and develops T cells, which are essential for fighting infection and disease, along with mounting effective responses to vaccines. As part of the natural aging process, the functional thymus begins to shrink and its ability to produce naïve T cells decreases, leading to immune dysfunction and disease.
“Thymmune’s approach to mass-produce iPSC-derived thymic cells to restore immune function in patients is a breakthrough for the field of thymic regenerative medicine. This treatment is less invasive than surgery and can be replicated at high quality at scale,” said Thomas de Vlaam, Principal, Pillar VC. “In the future, regenerating the thymus using Thymmune’s approach could improve immune function for a variety of diseases and even address the biology of aging.”
“The thymus plays a crucial role in the development and function of T cells, which are a key component of the adaptive immune system. The science is only going to continue advancing rapidly as more researchers move into this area of scientific study,” said Christopher D. Hillyer, M.D., President and CEO, New York Blood Center Enterprises, and General Partner, NYBC Ventures. “Recent advances in immunology have allowed the function of the thymus in T-cell maturation to be better understood, and Thymmune is well-positioned to lead this new frontier.”
"We are thrilled to have secured this funding with a top-tier syndicate of investors led by Pillar VC, which will allow us to revolutionize drug development by capitalizing on the latest advances in thymus biology, iPSCs, and machine learning," said Stan Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Founder & CEO, Thymmune. "Based on decades of research on the thymus gland, our approach has the potential to transform immunology by developing novel therapies for patients with a range of immune system disorders."
Having established operations in Kendall Square in 2021, Thymmune has been awarded 5 Golden Tickets, a Boston area record, from Astellas, Boehringer Ingelheim, LG Chem Life Sciences, Novo Nordisk and Pfizer. Thymmune has also received funding via Wellcome Leap’s inaugural HOPE program, along with an NIH/NIAID Fast-Track SBIR.
Thymmune is a biotechnology company developing a machine learning-enabled thymic cell engineering platform to restore normal immune function in aging and disease. The company's cutting-edge approach in iPSC-thymic cell manufacturing can generate off-the-shelf cells at scale. The company is developing a pipeline of therapies to treat immunodeficiencies, transplant related, and autoimmune diseases. Thymmune is based in Cambridge, MA. For more information, visit www.thymmune.com.