RootPath Raises $11 Million Series A to Accelerate Clinical Translation of its Proprietary Synthetic Immunology Platform

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 General News
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CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- RootPath, a preclinical-stage biotechnology company aiming to enable personalized, highly-potent T cell therapy powered by its proprietary Synthetic Immunology Platform, today announced a $11 million Series A funding round.  New investors include Oriza Seed with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital China, Volcanics Venture, BV (Baidu Ventures) and Nest.Bio Ventures.  The company will use the Series A proceeds to validate its tumor-reactive T cell receptor (TCR) discovery workflow, select a lead therapeutic candidate, demonstrate its safety and efficacy in preclinical models and begin IND-enabling development activities.

Launched in 2017 by Nest.Bio Ventures, RootPath has developed a suite of proprietary technologies that comprise its Synthetic Immunology Platform to rapidly and inexpensively recreate T cell immune repertoires and to emulate their antigen-driven selection process in vitro.  The Synthetic Immunology Platform centers on the rapid and ultrahigh-throughput generation and functional selection of TCRs, and forms the basis of the personalized T cell therapy that RootPath is advancing. The company had previously announced a $7 M seed round in 2018 led by Sequoia Capital China.

Cell therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapies have delivered notable successes in hematological malignancies.  "The hurdle to achieving effective cell therapies for solid tumors has been identifying safe and effective tumor-reactive agents for these T cells, either as CAR or TCR," said Xi Chen, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO.  "Because of the way T cells recognize tumors, discovering tumor-reactive agents for each individual patient or each sub-population of patients has been economically infeasible using existing technologies.  This is why we spent the past two years developing our proprietary Synthetic Immunology Platform, which takes advantage of many breakthroughs in synthetic biology and overcomes many intrinsic challenges in immunology-oriented research and drug discovery."

"We are excited to have the support from our new and existing investors to move from technology development to therapeutic translation of our platform," Chen continued.

"Solid tumors are substantially more challenging than hematological malignancies, but, at the same time, represent a more attractive and valuable market," said Grace Yang, Partner of Oriza Seed.  "The unique approach RootPath takes effectively creates T cells armed with more targeted weapons, which should translate to increased efficacy and reduced toxicity to patients.  We are confident in the Synthetic Immunology Platform, and look forward its clinical translation as well as synergy with potential product candidates from other companies in our existing immuno-oncology portfolio."

About RootPathRootPath is a preclinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering personalized immunotherapy and cell therapy for solid tumors using its proprietary Synthetic Immunology Platform. RootPath was launched by Nest.Bio Ventures in 2017 and has raised $18M in seed and Series A financing.  RootPath is located  in Cambridge, MA with additional research activities at two sites in China.

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