San Diego, CA, April 20 2021 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Janux Therapeutics today announced the closing of a $125 million Series B financing led by RA Capital Management and joined by new investors BVF Partners L.P., EcoR1 Capital, Hartford HealthCare Endowment, Janus Henderson Investors, Logos Capital, Samsara BioCapital and Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company). Janux’s existing investors, OrbiMed, Avalon Ventures, and Bregua, also participated. The proceeds of the financing will help support the advancement of Janux’s pipeline of next generation T cell engager immunotherapies, including a PSMA-TRACTr, EGFR-TRACTr, and TROP2-TRACTr, into initial proof of concept clinical trials.
“We are impressed with the preclinical data from Janux’s wholly-owned TRACTr drug candidates showing the potential to harness the potent tumor-killing properties of T cells.”
“This commitment from a world-class syndicate of life science investors will help advance Janux’s proprietary pipeline of potentially transformative immunotherapies into clinical development, while leveraging our powerful TRACTr platform to identify and optimize new drug candidates,” said David Campbell, Ph.D., President and CEO of Janux Therapeutics. “We intend to use the proceeds to advance PSMA-TRACTr, EGFR-TRACTr, and TROP2-TRACTr into the clinic as well as attract the talent needed to realize our vision of providing cancer patients with safe and effective drugs that direct their immune system to eradicate tumors to give them the best chance to overcome their disease.”
T cell engagers are an emerging class of immunotherapies that bind to a tumor cell and recruit a patient’s T cells to eradicate tumor cells. Janux’s proprietary Tumor Activated T Cell Engager (TRACTr) technology is designed to overcome specific limitations of current T cell immuno-oncology therapies. Although previous therapies utilizing other technologies have displayed substantial anti-tumor activity, they have been constrained by dose-limiting toxicities, poor pharmacokinetic profiles, and attenuated efficacy. Janux’s TRACTr technology is designed to overcome these limitations by integrating tumor-specific activation with crossover pharmacokinetics to produce differentiated T cell engager therapeutics.
“RA Capital believes that Janux’s proprietary technology has the potential to unlock the next generation of immunotherapies, and we are excited about the significant potential that this platform holds for a breadth of highly prevalent solid tumors,” said Jake Simson, Ph.D., partner at RA Capital Management. “We are impressed with the preclinical data from Janux’s wholly-owned TRACTr drug candidates showing the potential to harness the potent tumor-killing properties of T cells.”
In preclinical studies, Janux TRACTr drug candidates have demonstrated comparable anti-tumor activity relative to standard T cell engagers but lack the associated liabilities related to cytokine release, healthy tissue toxicities, or systemic immune activation.
About Janux Therapeutics
Janux Therapeutics is an innovative biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation therapeutics based on its proprietary Tumor Activated T Cell Engager (TRACTr) platform technology to better treat patients suffering from cancer. Janux’s initial focus is on developing a novel class of T cell engagers (TCEs), and its lead product candidates are designed to target clinically validated drug targets. While TCE therapeutics have displayed potent anti-tumor activity in hematological cancers, developing TCEs to treat solid tumors have faced challenges due to the limitations of prior TCE technologies, namely (i) overactivation of the immune system leading to cytokine release syndrome, (ii) on-target, healthy tissue toxicities, and (iii) poor pharmacokinetics leading to short half-life. Janux is using its TRACTr platform technology to engineer product candidates designed to overcome these limitations. Janux is developing a broad pipeline with lead programs targeting prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and trophoblast cell surface antigen 2 (TROP2). For more information, visit www.januxrx.com.