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4 January 2018

NexImmune orchestrates $23m series A

Johns Hopkins University spinout NexImmune has raised series A funding a year after being acquired by a consortium of individual investors in January 2017.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

NexImmune, a US-based immuno-oncology developer based on research at Johns Hopkins University, closed a $23m series A round on Tuesday co-led by family office Barer & Son Capital.

Barer & Son Capital, which led the syndicate that acquired NexImmune in January 2017, co-led the round with asset management firm ArrowMark Partners. Piedmont Capital Partners, an investment subsidiary of real estate firm Piedmont Real Estate, also provided funding.

Tony Yao, portfolio manager at ArrowMark, will join NexImmune’s board of directors.

Founded in 2011, NexImmune is working on personalised immunotherapies that stimulate the production of T cells, a form of white blood cell integral to the immune system, and directs the cells to target problematic molecules within tumours.

The lead candidate, Aim Act, is set to enter phase 1/2 clinical trials during 2018 in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia, a type of blood cancer, and myelodysplastic syndromes, a group of cancers that affect the bone marrow.

NexImmune is based on research by Jonathan Schneck, a professor of pathology, medicine and oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Mathias Oelke, an assistant professor who specialises in cellular immunology.

NexImmune was acquired for an undisclosed sum in January 2017 by a consortium led by Sol Barer and Joshua Barer, both of Barer & Son Capital, with commitments from private investors such as William Hawkins, former CEO and chairman of medical device maker Medtronic.

The spinout’s total equity stood at $3.3m prior to the acquisition, in addition to $2m in convertible debt disclosed in a security filing in 2015.

VC firm New Enterprise Associates led a $3m round in 2014 with contributions from Pfizer Venture Investments and Amgen Business Development, respective corporate venturing units of biopharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Amgen.

NexImmune had previously disclosed $287,500 received from 11 unnamed backers in 2012.

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