Turnstone Biologics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing cancer immunotherapies, has raised $80 million in Series D financing. PFM Health Sciences and Point72 led the round, with participation from new investors Eventide Asset Management, Surveyor Capital, Ridgeback Capital Investments, Takeda Ventures, CaaS Capital, JM Family Enterprises, Northleaf Capital Partners and 404 Bio as well as several existing investors. Turnstone is based in Ottawa and New York.
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Turnstone Biologics Corp., a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of cancer immunotherapies, today announced the successful completion of an $80 million Series D financing co-led by PFM Health Sciences and Point72. Additional new investors Eventide Asset Management, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Ridgeback Capital Investments, Takeda Ventures Inc., CaaS Capital, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Northleaf Capital Partners, 404 Bio and an undisclosed investor were joined by existing investors Versant Ventures, OrbiMed, F-Prime Capital, Sectoral Asset Management, Sixty Degree Capital, Brace Pharma Capital and Teralys Capital.
“Turnstone is developing next-generation medicines in two of the most clinically validated fields of immunotherapy for solid tumors,” said Sammy Farah, Ph.D., MBA, President and CEO at Turnstone. “This oversubscribed financing will allow us to advance our vision to benefit millions of cancer patients underserved by current treatment options. We are delighted to welcome PFM Health Sciences, Point72 and additional new investors to Turnstone, and we are grateful for the steadfast support of our existing syndicate.”
Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Turnstone’s pipeline of programs from its oncolytic virus and TIL therapy platforms. Turnstone’s lead oncolytic virus candidate, RIVAL-01/TAK-605, is currently in the dose escalation stage of a Phase 1/2a clinical study in solid tumors conducted in collaboration with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (“Takeda”). The product is derived from the Company’s proprietary vaccinia virus platform that has been engineered for enhanced immune-stimulation and tumor cell selectivity, large transgene carrying capacity for local expression of encoded therapeutics, and with flexibility for both intratumoral and intravenous delivery.
Turnstone’s lead TIL therapy candidate, TIDAL-01, is expected to enter clinical development by early next year. The program builds on clinically validated treatment protocols while enriching for the most relevant T-cells for tumor eradication, preserving broad antigen diversity, and minimizing time to treatment for patients, with the ultimate goal of extending the benefit of TIL therapy across a wider range of solid tumor types.
Concurrent with the financing, Santhosh Palani, Ph.D., CFA, Partner at PFM Health Sciences, will join the Company’s Board of Directors. “The addition of the TIL therapy platform to Turnstone’s existing viral immunotherapy creates a significant strategic advantage for the Company,“ said Dr. Palani. “Turnstone’s TIL programs represent the most direct approach to advance the field as there is strong clinical evidence that selection of tumor reactive T-cells can drive better patient outcomes. The enhanced benefit and curative potential that Turnstone can uniquely bring by combining viral immunotherapy with TILs to solve challenges associated with solid tumors, drives yet another layer of excitement.”
About Turnstone Biologics
Turnstone Biologics, a privately held clinical stage biotech company, is developing breakthrough cancer immunotherapies by advancing two leading platforms, both independently and in combination, that drive innate and adaptive tumor immunity to provide benefit to the millions of cancer patients underserved by current treatment options. Turnstone’s proprietary vaccinia virus platform is engineered to drive coordinated immune activation, potent viral activity and local expression of encoded therapeutics. The Company has an ongoing Phase 1/2a trial in solid tumors (RAPTOR) for its leading oncolytic virus candidate, RIVAL-01/TAK-605, which is being developed under a global collaboration with Takeda. The novel TIL therapy platform leverages clinically validated treatment protocols and has been specifically designed to extend beyond the use of bulk TILs to enrich for the most relevant T-cells for tumor eradication, preserving broad antigen diversity and minimizing time to treatment for patients. Turnstone is expecting the lead TIL therapy candidate, TIDAL-01, to enter the clinic by early 2022.