PDC*line Pharma raises US$20.3 million in Series B2 financing round

BELGIUM – PDC*line Pharma, a clinical-stage biotech company developing a new class of potent and scalable active off-the-shelf cancer vaccine, has completed its Series B2 round of funding, raising €17.5 million (US$20.3 million) in total from Belgian and South Korean investors.

PDC*line Pharma has attracted new investors and secured a further capital increase of €11.8 million (US$13.7million) less than two years after its €20M (US$23.2 million) B1 round of fundraising, which was announced in January 2020.

Furthermore, the company has received a €5.7M (US$6.6million) repayable grant from the Walloon Region of Belgium, which has supported the company since its inception in 2016. As a result, the company will have raised a total of €37.5 million euros in this series B round.

This financing round was led by Korea Investment Partners, a leading multibillion-dollar South Korean fund, and included a syndicate of new South Korean life sciences investors: Alpha Holdings, Brain Asset Management, and Hansongneotech Co. Ltd.

Noshaq Group (ex-Meusinvest), Sambrinvest (the Charleroi investment fund), SFPI-FPIM (the Belgian Federal Holding and Investment Company), SRIW (The Regional Investment Company of Wallonia), and Smart Korea UTC Bio-Healthcare Venture Fund were also among the investors that participated in the round.  

Proceeds from the Series B funding round will mainly be used for the phase I/II trial of PDC*lung01 cancer vaccine candidate targeting Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).

PDC*lung01 belongs to a class of active immunotherapies for cancers the company is developing based on a GMP-grade allogeneic therapeutic cell line of plasmacytoid dendritic cells- its PDC* cell line.

PDC*vac mechanism of action

PDC*vac technology is the only therapeutic cancer vaccine based on a line of Dendritic Cells (DC), and the only one based on Plasmacytoid DCs.

PDC*line is a proprietary plasmacytoid dendritic cell line that can be engineered with synthetic peptides derived from a combination of tumor antigens relevant to the type of cancer being treated.

The resulting PDC*vac effectively primes and boosts fully functional antitumor CD8* T cells, resulting in powerful and targeted cytotoxic T cell response against tumor cells.

The same product can be used to treat all patients with cancer who express the selected antigens and have HLA-A2 expression (about 50 percent of the European and 36 percent of the US population).

High potency

The biotech company alleges that its PDC*line is far more effective than traditional dendritic cell-based vaccines at priming and boosting antitumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T-cells, including T-cells specific for neoantigens, and that it works synergistically with checkpoint inhibitors.

The PDC*line is 20 to 200 times more potent than the conventional dendritic cells (DCs), based on an article published in Nature.com.

PDC*line outperforms conventional myeloid dendritic cells in priming and expanding antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells due to differences in the expression of co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory molecules, as well as cytokine receptors.

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