Gray Wolf Therapeutics Closes $49 Million Series B Funding to Advance One-of-a-Kind Neoantigen Creation Approaches
Premier Syndicate of Life Science Industry Investors led by Pfizer Ventures and Earlybird Venture Capital and including Canaan, Andera Partners, Oxford Science Enterprises and British Patient Capital
Proceeds to support advancement of lead candidate, ERAP1 inhibitor GRWD5769, into clinic in H1 2023; Continued research and development for subsequent ERAP inhibition strategies
OXFORD, UK, January 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Gray Wolf Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on generating entirely new anti-tumor immune responses through the targeted creation of tumor neoantigens, today announced the closing of a $49 million Series B funding. The funding was co-led by Pfizer Ventures and Earlybird Venture Capital and also included investments from new investors Oxford Science Enterprises and British Patient Capital and existing investors Canaan and Andera Partners. Proceeds will support the continued development of the company’s first immuno-oncology approaches designed to overcome key mechanisms of resistance through the creation of novel cancer antigens. This includes the anticipated advancement of the company’s lead asset, GRWD5769, into a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in the first half of 2023.
Gray Wolf Therapeutics’ unique therapeutic strategy is focused on generating entirely new immune responses against tumors, thus overcoming key mechanisms of resistance to current immuno-oncology therapy, such as poor T-cell recognition of the tumor and exhaustion of T cells. This is achieved through targeted inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidases (ERAP1 or ERAP2), which drives the generation and presentation of new and potent tumor antigens on the surface of tumor cells, in turn eliciting a response of de novo T cells against tumors.
Innovative research and development activities conducted by the Gray Wolf team have generated a pipeline of novel ERAP inhibition programs, led by GRWD5769, a potential first-in-class ERAP1 inhibitor. During the first half of 2023, the company intends to initiate a Phase 1/2 adaptive clinical study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of GRWD5769, including a planned combination with the PD-1 inhibitor Libtayo® (cemiplimab), in a range of solid tumor types. In addition, the company will direct a portion of the B-series proceeds to follow-up programs, including efforts focused on inhibiting ERAP2 and identifying entirely new tumor antigens that can be targeted with MHC class I directed therapies, such as cell receptor Soluble T cells (TCRs) and TCRs mimic bispecifics.
“This syndicate of leading life sciences investors brings a broad range of relevant expertise and resources to Gray Wolf at a critical juncture in our evolution as we prepare to enter the clinic,” he said. Peter Joyce, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Gray Wolf Therapeutics. “The funding these groups have committed to Gray Wolf will not only support our efforts to demonstrate clinical evidence of ERAP inhibition with our core program, but will also drive our continued scientific exploration in this area as we aim to further advance and expand our pipeline of first-of-its-kind therapies.”
“The scientific ground being pursued by the Gray Wolf team is fertile with potential solutions to overcome two of the most significant resistance mechanisms limiting current immuno-oncology therapies: poor tumor visibility and T-cell depletion,” he said. Marie-Claire Peakman, Ph.D., principal with Pfizer Ventures. “We look forward to supporting the company as it enters the clinical setting and works to develop an entirely new and viable treatment approach.”
“We believe Gray Wolf is establishing the next essential pillar in cancer treatment, with the potential to overcome treatment resistance and change the game to attack cancer,” he said. Rabab Nasrallah, Ph.D., principal, Earlybird Venture Capital. “Importantly, preclinical research suggests the company’s elegant therapeutic approach holds great promise as a monotherapy, as well as the potential to synergistically improve outcomes when used in rational combination with other anticancer agents, including immune checkpoint inhibitors. This flexibility further amplifies the potential breadth of impact these experimental therapies can have in the treatment of patients.”
In conjunction with the funding, Gray Wolf Therapeutics announced several new appointments to its board of directors, including:
Sally Dewhurstsenior partner, Oxford Science Enterprises
Emma Johnsoninvestment manager, British Patient Capital
Rabab Nasrallahprincipal, Earlybird Venture Capital
Marie-Claire Peakmanprincipal, Pfizer Ventures
About Gray Wolf Therapeutics
Gray Wolf Therapeutics is a British and Australian pharmaceutical biotechnology discovery and development company driving a new therapeutic approach in immuno-oncology. The company’s first immuno-oncology approach focuses on the inhibition of endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidases (ERAP1 or ERAP2), which play a key role in the antigen presentation pathway. Inhibition of ERAP1 or ERAP2 generates new tumor antigens and upregulates some other neoantigens, resulting in the mobilization of an entirely new T cell response against the tumor that increases tumor visibility where current therapies are ineffective and circumvents the challenge faced by the current immunotherapy when once anti-Tumorigenic T cells become irreversibly depleted and therefore ineffective. Based on this approach, the company is developing a portfolio of potentially first-in-class small molecules that inhibit ERAP1 or ERAP2. The company’s lead development candidate, GRWD5769, is a potent and selective ERAP1 inhibitor that elicits a potent and differentiated immune response against cancer and will enter the clinic in the first half of 2023. A second program, focusing on ERAP2 inhibition , is advancing through the discovery process. The company is leveraging its neoantigen leadership to unlock entirely new tumor antigens that can be targeted with MHC class I-directed therapies, such as soluble T-cell receptor (TCR) and TCR mimic bispecifics.
For more information, please visit: www.gwt.bio
Gray Wolf Therapy
+44 (0) 01865 292 038
Vida Strategic Partners (on behalf of Gray Wolf Therapeutics)
Tim Brons (Average)
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SOURCE Gray Wolf Therapeutics