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NousCom raises €42m

Swiss oncolytic virus and vaccine specialist NousCom has closed a €42m Series B financing round led by new investor Abingworth. Co-investors include new 5AM Ventures, and existing investors LSP and Versant Ventures.

The Basel-based company said it will use the proceeds to advance its pipeline of neoantigen based cancer vaccines to the clinic. NousComs uses two platforms to induce T-cell responses to tumours: adenovirally encoded genes for cancer neoantigens and oncolytic viruses.

The company said, it will start Phase I/II testing of its lead cancer vaccine NOUS-209 in 2018. NOUS-209 is designed to act as an prophylactic vaccine for Lynch Syndrome carriers, a genetically defined patient population with higher risk of developing colorectal, endometrial, and gastric cancers, and as a therapeutic vaccine for cancers characterised by microsatellite instability.

Aditionally, NousCom wants to further the development of NOUS-100-PV, a personalised neoantigen-based vaccine, also expected to enter clinical trails in 2018. NousCom’s third program is an oncolytic virus in discovery phase, which zeroes in on an undisclosed cancer target.

Dr. Genghis Lloyd-Harris, partner at lead investor Abingworth, said: “Because of its ability to induce potent CD8 T cell responses, in addition to CD4, and deliver large amount of immunogenic information, we believe it holds strong promise in the clinic.”

In conjunction with the financing, Dr. Genghis Lloyd-Harris of Abingworth and Dr. Scott Rocklage of 5AM will join NousCom’s board of directors alongside existing board Chairman Dr. Guido Magni from Versant Ventures, and board members Dr. Joachim Rothe from LSP, Dr. Jean-Paul Prieels and Dr. Alfredo Nicosia.

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