Södertälje-based Anocca, a fully integrated cell therapy biotechnology company, announced on Wednesday, December 21, that it has raised €25M in venture debt funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for Economy, says, “This agreement is one of the first InvestEU investments in Sweden in life science. It is also an important contribution to the development of technologies which can help us fight cancer, in line with Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. R&D endeavours need significant and sustained investment to make sure they deliver on the promises they hold for our future.”
The EIB Group, including the European Investment Fund, is the main implementing partner of the InvestEU programme.
In July 2021, Anocca raised $47M in a Series B round to advance the company’s industrialised cellular biology platform.
This investment recognises Anocca’s strength, potential, and strategy for creating T-cell treatments for cancer.
Reagan Jarvis, CEO and co-founder of Anocca, says, “We’re delighted that the EIB has chosen to support us as we build a critical piece of advanced biotechnology capability and infrastructure in Sweden. Anocca’s mission is to expand the clinical and commercial reach of cell therapies by leveraging our proprietary analytical and manufacturing platforms. This financing supports us in moving our first generation of T-cell immunotherapies towards clinical trials in a solid tumour indication during 2024.”
According to Thomas Östros, VP at EIB, the investment will help Anocca to accelerate clinical development to provide patients with access to innovative therapies in areas of high unmet medical need.
Developing immunotherapies for the immune system of patients
Founded in 2014 and led by CEO Reagan Jarvis, Anocca aims to develop a technological platform for studying T-cell biology in order to realise the therapeutic potential of T-cell immunity.
The company says it is using its technology to develop next-generation T-cell immunotherapies for the treatment of solid tumours with ‘unmatched’ accuracy, speed, and scale. The company is developing libraries of T-cell immunotherapies with a focus on difficult-to-treat cancers and plans to start clinical trials in 2024.
In addition to cancer, the company’s technologies are being used to create a range of novel therapeutic and prophylactic products in oncology, infectious disease and autoimmunity.
Anocca has a fully integrated R&D infrastructure that is supported by in-house clinical production, process development facilities and innovative software solutions that have been specifically designed for the company. The company claims that through the use of programmable human cells, this innovative discovery technology creates a diverse pipeline of targets and T-cell receptors with market-dominating potential for cell therapy products.
Anocca’s R&D and production facilities in Södertälje, Sweden, employ approximately 90 people.
About the European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank, which is owned by the EU27 Member States, is the bank of the European Union. It provides funding for initiatives in four key sectors: infrastructure, innovation, climate and the environment, and SMEs.
Currently, the bank operates in around 160 nations and claims to be the biggest multilateral lender in the world for climate change initiatives. EIB offers long-term funding for economically sound initiatives to support the political goals of the EU. The goal of the EIB’s Climate Bank Roadmap 2025 is to support €1T in investments for environmental sustainability and climate action between now and 2030.