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10 August 2018

SQZ indexes $72m in series C round

Illumina, GV and Orient Life supported a $72m series C round for MIT spinout SQZ Biotechnology, with the money set to fund therapies for solid tumours and autoimmunity.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

SQZ Biotechnology, a US-based cell therapy spinout of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), closed an oversubscribed $72m series C round today that included biotechnology producer Illumina and internet and technology conglomerate Alphabet.

Insurance provider Orient Life also contributed to the round, as did Everblue, Invus, Viva Ventures Biotech, Bridger Healthcare Partners, Global Health Science Fund, NanoDimension, Polaris Partners and JDRF T1D Fund, managed by diabetes-focused charity JDRF.

Illumina and Alphabet invested in the round through corporate venturing subsidiaries Illumina Ventures and GV respectively.

SQZ Biotechnology has developed a platform to create cell therapies that utilise the human body’s immune system. Its lead candidate is initially focused on human papillomavirus-positive cancer, with plans to target solid tumours across cancer indications in future.

The spinout is also working on a treatment for type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune conditions. It is commercialising research by Klavs Jensen, Robert Langer and Armon Sharei.

The series C capital will fund the further development of treatments for solid tumours and autoimmune disorders. JDRF T1D Fund invested an undisclosed sum in SQZ in December 2017, though it is not clear whether this formed part of the series C round.

SQZ closed a $24m series B round in December 2016 with an $8m tranche backed by GV and Quark Venture, three months after NanoDimension and Polaris Partners co-led a $16m first close. Polaris had led a $5m series A round in 2015 that included 20/20 Healthcare Partners.

Bridger Healthcare partner Marc Elia and Zafi Avnur, chief scientific officer for Quark Venture, the VC firm that manages the Global Health Science Fund, have joined SQZ’s board of directors in connection with the series C round.

– A version of this article first appeared on our sister site, Global Corporate Venturing.

Copyright Mawsonia Limited 2010. Please don´t cut articles from www.globaluniversityventuring.com or the PDF and redistribute by email or post to the web without written permission.

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