Integrated cancer biotech Infinitopes secures £12.8m seed financing to enhance its Precision Immunomics antigen discovery technologies to target five more cancers

FGC scientist working in the lab.
Published date:
April 30 2024

Funding also supports the start of Phase 1/2a study for lead vaccine, ITOP1.

Infinitopes Precision Immunomics, an integrated cancer biotech combining world leading platforms in precision antigen discovery with vaccine vectors capable of durably stimulating protective immune responses, today announced the completion of a £12.8m seed funding round led by Octopus Ventures. The round was heavily oversubscribed, also drawing in funds from Cancer Research Horizons, Cancer Research Institute, CRIS Cancer Foundation, Kindred Capital, Manta Ray, Martlet Capital, Meltwind Advisory, Saras Capital, Wilbe Capital, and expert angel investors. The total funds raised combine new equity investment and a prestigious non-dilutive award from Innovate UK’s Future Economy Investor Partnership scheme.

Right targets, right vectors, right patients, right time
Since incorporation in 2021, Infinitopes has moved swiftly to cement its leadership position in cancer vaccines by overcoming three key challenges in the field. Firstly, using its Precision Immunomics antigen discovery technologies, the Company can identify and rank tumour signatures, without prior bias, enabling the accurate selection of novel, synergistic tumour targets. Secondly, Infinitopes continues to develop safe and effective, proprietary vector delivery systems, capable of stimulating durable T-cell responses necessary to prevent the recurrence of life-threatening cancer metastases. Finally, the Company leverages its deep knowledge of immunology, partnering with disease KOLs, in order to optimally schedule therapies to drive maximal protection for patients.

Lead Phase 1/2a on schedule to begin this autumn
Infinitopes’ lead asset, a novel cancer vaccine called ITOP1, is scheduled to commence a Phase 1/2a study in first line cancer patients in the third quarter of 2024. This rapid transition into the clinic has become possible after receiving an Innovative Licensing & Access Pathway (ILAP) innovation passport from the UK’s Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in August 2022. 

Best-in-class antigen discovery
The new investment accelerates the installation of best in class, next generation LC-MS/MS mass spectrometer equipment, enhancing the company’s proprietary tumour antigen discovery and computational immunobiology/AI/machine learning techniques, to identify and rank the best target combinations, to treat five more cancers.

Supported by Cancer Research UK
Infinitopes is a Cancer Research UK (CRUK)-led spinout from Oxford University, combining underlying technologies, know how, patents and licenses that were developed with CRUK funding across the laboratories of Professor Paul Klenerman and Associate Professor Nicola Ternette, and clinical programmes led by Professor Mark Middleton.                                                                                                      

Jonathan Kwok, CEO and co-founder of Infinitopes, said: “Since founding in September 2021, Infinitopes has established world leading capabilities to design, develop, and clinically evaluate an exciting new class of precision targeted, durable cancer vaccines. Our therapies are emerging at a time when blockbuster checkpoint inhibitors are hitting their peak, capable of preventing tumour recurrence in 30-40 per cent of patients at best. Our preclinical results suggest that our vaccines may significantly outperform them, to transform care for future cancer patients. We’re excited to announce this fundraise, which enables us to pursue our uniquely integrated strategy of selecting the right targets, with the right vectors, for the right patients, at the right time in their treatment journey. We continue to seek academic and Big Pharma collaborators, smart technical investors, and passionate new hires and interns, to join our mission to cure cancer.”

Phil Masterson, Associate Director, Cancer Research Horizons, commented: “Infinitopes is at the forefront of the cancer vaccine revolution emerging from Covid-era technology advances. Cancer Research Horizons’ investment strategy focuses on maximising patient impact – Infinitopes is empowering the immune system to fight the cancer metastases that cause 70 to 90 percent of cancer deaths through better targeting, better delivery mechanisms and better clinical trials.  We are delighted to support the building of a leading company based on innovative CRUK-funded foundational science.” 

Hugo Villanueva, Octopus Ventures, said: “At Octopus Ventures, we back the entrepreneurs who are revitalising healthcare. The Infinitopes team is a great example of this – their work to design, develop and clinically assess novel cancer vaccines is incredibly important, and we’re delighted to support them in their work to combat cancer.”

Julia Schrameier, Investor at Manta Ray, added: “Our initial investment in Infinitopes in December 2022 was driven by our strong conviction that they were the right team at the right time to create a leading computational, proteomics-driven antigen discovery platform. Their focus on accessible, non-personalised treatments, combined with the team's deep scientific expertise and remarkable track record, distinctly set them apart from other companies in the space. After observing their impressive progress and growth over the past year, our conviction has only strengthened. Working with Jonathan and his team has been remarkable, and we are excited to follow our initial investment and continue supporting Infinitopes on its journey to cure cancer, one epitope at a time.”

Infinitopes last week presented at Immuno Oncology Europe (London, 23–25 April) and Immuno’24 (London, 25–26 April), and will attend the 7th European Neoantigen Summit (Amsterdam, 29 April–1 May), and BioEquity (San Sebastien, 12–14 May).

Contacts

Jonathan Kwok, CEO
Infinitopes Precision Immunomics
[email protected] 

Powerscourt Group (media enquiries): 
Sarah MacLeod, Adam Michael, Molly Ring
[email protected]
+44 (0)20 7250 1446