TiCARos, Induced 6.1 billion won investment..."CAR-T Phase1 will be started in 2020"
입력 2020-01-09 22:18 수정 2020-01-09 22:18
by Jongwon Jang
TiCaros has completed attracting 6.1 billion won worth of Series B investments. TiCaros plans to speed up the development of its first T cell-enhancing CAR-T cellular therapy called "TC001" with the target to enter the clinical first phase in the second half of this year, while speeding up the development of additional pipelines such as "TC002" through platform technology to enhance T-cell efficacy.
According to investment industry, on the 4th, TiCaros’ investments included Medytox Venture Investment, SJ Investment Partners and E & Venture Partners. They successfully attracted follow-up investments less than a year after attracting investments from Series A in February of last year. In particular, TiCaros attracted all investment from both Series A and B to common shares, not to RCPS.
TiCaros is a bio venture established in 2018 by Lee Jaewon, CEO with a career of Finance and Biotech, and Choi Kyungho, a professor at Seoul National University, researcher of a CAR-T and T cell. Professor Choi is developing the next-generation CAR-T after transferring the exclusive trial rights for the T cell-enhancing platform technology developed during his work at the National Cancer Center.
Ticaros has a CTC28 T-cell (CTLA4-CD28 chimera) platform technology that enhances the efficacy of T cells by selectively inhibiting CTLA4 function only to cancer-specific T cells. Ticaros’ next-generation CAR-T ‘CAR-CTC28 T cell’ combines this with a CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) that targets cancerous antigens. The company explains that the technology has been recognized for its uniqueness in terms of structural changes, not just combination therapy or blocking with immune checkpoint inhibiting antibodies, and has a wide range of applications.
The CAR-CTC28 T cells showed excellent curative efficacy in traditional T-cell therapy for animal models of solid cancer (black and lymphoma) and also demonstrated excellent efficacy in comparison with existing CAR-T treatments. He explained that he saw the possibility of improving the treatment effect of solid cancer, a hot topic for CAR-T developers around the world.
TiCaros plans to enter the first clinical trial for CAR-CTC28 T-cell therapy within the year. They are also planning to expand the CTC28 platform to develop various treatments, including TCR-T (T Cell Receptor-T) as well as CAR-T.
Medytox Venture Investment, which led the investment, said, "TiCaros’ independent T-cell activation technology can greatly improve the effectiveness of existing CAR-T cellular therapies by enhancing the immune function of T-cells. We look forward to the possibility of treating non-responding tumors," he said. "We hope that this platform technology and other findings from the company will expand to the development of immunosuppressants that treat a variety of adaptations."
TiCaros CEO Lee Jaewon said, "There are several technology elements needed to develop CAR-T. TiCaros is a T-cell treatment company that has all of these technologies, such as making antibodies that are well combined with tumor-specific targets, technology that transfers genes to correct T cells, problems related to the structure of CAR-T cells themselves, and technology for immuno-activation of T-cell itself. In particular, he stressed that the technology to increase the immune activity of T cells is one that only the leading group has at the global level.
Lee added, "With this investment inducement, we will speed up the entry of TC001 that targets lymphoma and others within this year into the first phase of clinical trial in Korea."