Neobe Therapeutics raises over $2m for synthetic biology enabled tumour microenvironment remodelling

  • Published on 28th February 2024 by Neobe Therapeutics
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STEVENAGE, UK, 28 February 2024

Neobe Therapeutics, a pioneering synthetic biology startup at the forefront of immuno-oncology innovation, is thrilled to announce the successful closure of a $2.34M financing round. This significant financial milestone was achieved with the support of new investors Pioneer Group and 2048 Ventures, alongside existing backers Deep Science Ventures*, Cancer Research Horizons*, and Discovery Park Ventures. Additionally, the round received a non-dilutive grant award from UKRI’s Innovate UK Future Economy Investor Partnership Programme.

Neobe has built a synthetic biology platform to engineer safe microbial strains to disrupt tthe microenvironment of solid tumours, without affecting healthy tissues. These programmable microscopic trojan horses enable immunotherapy responses by breaking down barriers to immune infiltration locally. Since its inception Neobe has successfully engineered two differentiated proprietary products aimed at enabling immunotherapy efficacy in patients with colorectal, pancreatic and breast cancer, with demonstrated preclinical efficacy.

This latest injection of capital will accelerate the development of Neobe’s lead programme, combining extensive pre-clinical safety and efficacy studies with initial regulatory validation. It will be instrumental in advancing Neobe Therapeutics' research and development efforts, expanding its talented team, and bringing its novel therapies closer to clinical development. It will be accompanied by an expansion of Neobe’s board of directors, with Julie Wolf from 2048 Ventures and Imelda Juniarsih from Pioneer Group joining as investor directors. Neobe’s board is led by Keith Blundy, former CEO of Cancer Research Technology and STORM Therapeutics, who joined as non-executive director and chairman in 2023.

Neobe was founded by Pedro Correa de Sampaio and Annelise Soulier in 2021, from a venture creation alliance between Deep Science Ventures and Cancer Research Horizons established to help founder-type scientists build high-impact ventures in oncology, using DSV's proven approach to ideation-based innovation. Neobe was created specifically to address the key issue of existing barriers created by the local microenvironment of solid tumours which prevent the infiltration of cancer reactive immune cells. This “immune exclusion” is a key contributing factor in why about 80% of patients with solid tumours still do not respond to life changing immunotherapies.

“We are immensely grateful for the continued backing of our existing investors and thrilled to have Pioneer Group and 2048 Ventures join Neobe’s journey”, said Pedro Correa de Sampaio, CEO and co-founder of Neobe.

“The trust and support of all our investors as well as Innovate UK truly validates our innovative approach, harnessing synthetic biology to build safer and more effective strategies to enable therapeutic efficacy in cancer patients. Our mission continues to be to transform cancer treatment through engineered live biotherapeutics, and with this support, we are one step closer to making that a reality."

Imelda Juniarsih, Investment Director at Pioneer Group said: "Supporting Neobe in addressing previously untreatable cancers is truly exciting. Their pioneering approach holds immense promise in broadening access to immunotherapies, potentially transforming treatment and importantly preserving life for many patients. We're honoured to welcome Neobe to our portfolio and recognise the pivotal role they play in advancing this vital mission of making cancer treatment more accessible.”

 Julie Wolf from 2048 Ventures said: “At 2048 Ventures, we look to invest in platform plays that solve huge healthcare challenges. Neobe’s stromal remodeling microbes represent the best application of a synbio platform, which is using biology to engineer life-saving therapies for cancer patients. We are excited to partner with Neobe and join their mission in unlocking immuno-oncology treatments for all patients.”

“Neobe is on a mission to unlock the full potential of immuno-oncology therapeutics,” said Tony Hickson, Chief Business Officer at Cancer Research Horizons. “Since its inception from one of our venture creation programmes, we have been impressed by the entrepreneurial activities of the Neobe team. We are excited to continue to work with Neobe’s innovative team to support the company’s next phase of growth and realize its full potential to deliver much needed therapeutic solutions for patients.”

 

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