Leucid Biohas raised £11.5 million in a Series A financing round, which will be used to initiate a Phase I trial of its lead candidate, LEU-011, for the treatment of platinum resistant ovarian cancer.
CAR T-cell therapy is a technology in which the patient’s own immune cells are reprogrammed so they can recognise and destroy cancer cells. This has proven to be a powerful therapy for refractory blood cancers but has not yet been effective for the treatment of solid cancers.
Leucid has developed an engine that builds upon a novel CAR-T model which develops CAR-T molecules designed to be in a more natural biological configuration of cells. The early development work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Guy’s and St Thomas’ Biomedical Research Centre. The company’s technology gives properties to the CAR-Ts that enable them to outperform previous generations of CAR-T therapies in pre-clinical studies; enhancing T-cell potency and generating a long-term response with reduced toxicity.
Leucid’s LEU-011 programme is a NKG2D CAR T-cell therapy in pre-clinical development for the treatment of solid tumours and haematological malignancies. The NKG2D receptor is an activating immune receptor that triggers cell death upon recognition of human NKG2D ligands expressed on transformed, infected or damaged cells. LEU-011 has potential for the treatment of multiple cancer types as NKG2D ligands are expressed on more than 80% of human tumour cells.
Artin Moussavi, Chief Executive Officer of Leucid Bio, said: “We are excited to welcome new investors to Leucid Bio. With support from this high calibre syndicate, the financing will enable us to progress our lead programme, LEU-011, into clinical development. At Leucid we are developing improved CAR-T technologies aimed to overcome key challenges in CAR T-cell therapy for solid tumours, to improve treatment outcomes and save the lives of cancer patients, where current treatments are not currently proving to be as clinically meaningful as required.”