October 6th, 2022

// Immugenia Obtains Pre-Seed Funding from adMare BioInnovations, ACET Capital, and Sherbrooke Innopole to Develop a Cancer Treatment Which Would Prevent Relapses

Immugenia Obtains Pre-Seed Funding from adMare BioInnovations, ACET Capital, and Sherbrooke Innopole to Develop a Cancer Treatment Which Would Prevent Relapses

SHERBROOKE, QC, Oct. 6, 2022 /CNW/ - Immugenia Inc. has announced that adMare BioInnovations, ACET Capital 2, and Sherbrooke Innopole have joined forces to support the development of immunity therapy programs based on the work of Dr. Elie Haddad, clinical researcher at CHU Sainte-Justine and professor at the Université de Montréal's pediatrics department.  

Immugenia is developing a new generation of CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) therapy. Current CAR therapies involve taking immune cells from a cancer patient and modifying them to express a CAR, making it possible for them to recognize and kill cancer cells when injected back into the patient.

"Unfortunately, traditional CAR technologies have a limited lifespan, which allows for relapses. By modifying patients' own hematopoietic stem cells, rather than peripheral cells as is usually the case, Immugenia is creating immunotherapy that could last continuously, thereby decreasing the risk of relapse while reducing the risk of toxicity associated with too high doses of CAR-T," stated Dr. Elie Haddad. "Our innovative cell-specific promoter technology makes this stem cell strategy possible."

While traditional CAR-T therapy primarily targets liquid tumours such as leukemia, adding CAR to stem cells also allows patients to develop CAR-NKs, making the strategy more effective and expanding its indications to solid tumors.  

"This cutting-edge technology will let us specifically induce and control these immune cells' activity and, as such, avoid the depletion of T cells we see in current therapies," mentioned Dr. Joseph Mancini, Vice President, Innovation - Biological Sciences at adMare. "The adMare scientific team has solid expertise in immunology and oncology. Through this research collaboration, we will leverage our induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) platform to advance and accelerate the development of this new therapeutic approach."

Immugenia is also being supported by the ACET and Sherbrooke Innopole.

According to Martial Bilodeau, ACET's Investment Director, "ACET Capital 2 is pleased to be financially supporting this new, very promising company and its experienced team in their innovative approach in immunotherapy."

Sherbrooke Innopole's Director of Business Services (Life Sciences sector), Martine Courtemanche, stated, "When we learned about Immugenia, we quickly identified the very promising potential of the company's technology. We are pleased to have been able to act as a spark for this start-up by providing its first financing through our seed fund and our Sherbrooke International grant program, which is focused on business development outside Quebec and the search for partners." 

"Our partners' contribution makes a big difference in our company's growth," added Stéphane Gagné, President and CEO of Immugenia. "Axelys, the Quebec public research-based innovation development and transfer company, has worked with us as we created the company and transferred the technology. The support from all our collaborators will help accelerate the advancement of our unique and promising treatment."

About Immugenia

Immugenia is an early-stage immuno-oncology company developing a novel approach to CAR therapy by engineering hematopoietic stem cells to treat cancer and prevent relapses. Its proprietary technology allows for the CAR to be expressed selectively in T and NK cells in order to leverage their synergistic activity against cancer. More information can be found at www.immugenia.com.

About adMare BioInnovations

With a strong track record of globally-competitive scientific discovery, Canadian life sciences are primed to lead the world. To make this a reality, adMare BioInnovations uses its scientific and commercial expertise, specialized R&D infrastructure, and seed capital to build strong life sciences companies, develop robust ecosystems, and foster industry-ready talent. It re-invests its returns into the Canadian industry to ensure its long-term sustainability. adMare currently has 28 portfolio companies that have attracted $1.4 billion of risk capital, have a combined value of $3 billion, and have created over 1,000 jobs in Canada. For more information, please go to www.admarebio.com.

About ACET Capital

ACET's mission is to identify innovative and bold technological projects, guide entrepreneurs in their development, and drive innovative new companies with a positive societal impact and the potential to be very successful in the future. Supported by a committed business community, ACET offers entrepreneurs personalized coaching from pre-startup to internationalization as needed, access to various sources of financing (including its own investment funds), the expertise of its market intelligence service, and the strength of its networks so that they can transform their passion, vision, and innovations into successful businesses. More information is available at www.acet.ca

About Sherbrooke Innopole

Sherbrooke Innopole is the para-municipal economic development organization for the city's industrial and high-value-added services sectors. Its mission is to accelerate the development of companies from the five key sectors – Advanced Manufacturing, Cleantech, Life Sciences, Information Technologies, and Micro-Technologies – and ensure that Sherbrooke offers an attractive and innovative business environment. It is funded by the City of Sherbrooke through its economic development coordination office (www.sherbrooke-innopole.com).

About Axelys

The Quebec government created Axelys on April 1, 2021. Its mission is to contribute to Quebec's economic and social prosperity by accelerating the development and transfer of high-potential innovations stemming from public research. It also contributes to the creation of scientific companies founded on the basis of public research discoveries.

SOURCE Immugenia


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