Funding / Health / Startups

Cancer-fighting Verismo Therapeutics raised $17M in another pre-Series A

The funding will support the University City company's programs targeting solid and liquid tumors.

Members of Verismo's team in early 2023. (Courtesy photo)

University of Pennsylvania spinout Verismo Therapeutics announced this week that it raised $17 million in a second pre-Series A round. The news comes just five months after the company, which develops therapeutics to improve persistence and efficacy against aggressive tumors, said it raised a $7 million pre-Series A in February.

This latest funding round was co-led by DongKoo Bio, HLB Innovation and HLB. Verismo has raised a total of $50 million since launching in 2020.

The funding will support multiple programs targeting solid and liquid tumors, including continued work on the clinical trial for its SynKIR-110 therapy and pre-clinical development for SynKIR-310. The SynKIR-110 trial assesses the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of the product in patients with mesothelin-expressing ovarian cancer, cholangiocarcinoma and mesothelioma.

The company is focused on KIR-CAR T cell therapy, which uses a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer.

“In this therapy, doctors take your white blood cells (called T cells) and genetically re-engineered them so that they can recognize and attack cancer cells,” Verismo CEO Dr. Bryan Kim told in February. “These changed cells are then injected back into your body, where they can search for and destroy cancer cells. KIR-CAR T cell therapy is a new way to fight cancer and can help people with certain types of cancer live longer, healthier lives.”

Earlier this year, Verismo Therapeutics was nominated for PACT’s 2023 Enterprise Awards in the Life Sciences and Healthcare Startup category.

At the end of 2022, the company opened a new research and development center in CIC Labs + Innovation Campus at 3675 Market St.

Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

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