HELSINKI, Finland I December 14, 2016 I TILT Biotherapeutics Ltd, the oncolytic immunotherapy startup founded in 2013, has closed a financing round of 4.0M€ (~$4.3M) to progress its lead candidate, TILT-123, into Phase I clinical trials. This adds up to TILT’s seed funding, bringing its total funding to almost 10M€ (~$10.6M).

About TILT Biotherapeutics

TILT Biotherapeutics Ltd is a leading company globally working in the area of enabling tumor T-cell therapy with oncolytic viruses. The company’s patented technology involves utilization of oncolytic viruses for enhancement of tumor T-cell therapy.

Curative treatment for solid tumors – 90% of all cancers

The lead candidate, TILT-123, is a preclinical stage TNFα/IL2 armed oncolytic adenovirus. GMP production is ongoing and the first phase I clinical trials are aimed to start early 2018. TILT-123 will be used to enhance tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL), chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T), and checkpoint inhibiting antibody therapy. One of the trials, for which the funding raised will be used, will take place in two centers in Europe and address metastatic melanoma in combination with TILT-123 and TILs.

As stated by TILT’s founder/CEO Akseli Hemminki, “TILT-123 is the only oncolytic virus which has been specifically designed with T-cell therapies and checkpoint inhibitors in mind. Moreover, we have already seen in humans that the virus backbone is safe and is able to access distant metastases by the vascular route”. In addition to these unique features, TILT’s product has been engineered for improved efficacy and safety in cancer cells. Professor Hemminki and colleagues have published over 200 scientific papers and treated over 300 patients with different oncolytic viruses.

Supported by Finnish investors and an EU grant

TILT’s investors include Lifeline Ventures Ltd, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes), the European Commission, and business angels. The latest funding round consists of loans from Tekes and important equity investments from Lifeline Ventures and private investors. “TILT is an interesting investment opportunity because the TILT technology is likely to be the most effective oncolytic immunotherapy in the context of T-cell therapies and anti-PD1, and the team has an unparalleled track record in clinical translation” says Timo Ahopelto, one of the founders of Lifeline Ventures.

TILT is further aiming at expanding its current investor base to secure capital for additional Phase I/II clinical trials and establishing collaborations with companies having synergic technologies in the immuno-oncology field, notably those with checkpoint inhibitors or CAR-T.

SOURCE: TILT Biotherapeutics