Immunotherapy venture raises $48 million

Image: T-cells
A visualization shows T-cells communicating via the immune synapse. (Credit: Alpine BioVentures)

Seattle’s Alpine Immune Sciences says it has closed a $48 million Series A financing round, to fund the development of next-generation therapies that tweak the body’s immune system to fight cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Immunotherapy ranks among the hottest topics in cancer research nowadays. The company’s executive chairman and acting CEO, Mitchell Gold, said in a statementthat the new infusion of investment “recognizes the tremendous potential” for the field and for Alpine Immune Sciences.

“AIS is taking a unique approach to modulating the immune system through the directed evolution of naturally occurring ligands – creating the next generation of cancer and autoimmune therapeutics with our vIgD platform,” Gold said.

The company is working on drugs that can activate the immune system to attack cancer cells, or keep the immune system from attacking healthy cells. The stand-down effect could ease such autoimmune disorders as Crohn’s disease, lupus and arthritis.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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