Cancer-focused biotech Tacalyx has extended its seed financing round to raise over €14m ($15.03m).

The German biotech has established a pipeline of seven novel antibody-based cancer therapeutics targeting tumour-associated carbohydrate antigens (TACAs). These glycan structures are often found on cancer cells but are absent from differentiated tissues under normal physiologic conditions.

Tacalyx’s rationale is that anti‑TACA antibodies can enable the specific targeting of cancer cells and be further developed into treatment modalities including antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) or T cell engagers (TCEs).

The company’s anti-TACA antibodies have been developed through its chemical platform. To further expand its development pipeline, Tacalyx has also established multiple academic collaborations to support the discovery of new TACAs.

In 2022, Tacalyx partnered with Leiden University Medical Center to target tumour-specific glycans in colorectal cancer, with Tacalyx using the glycan structures identified by the university group to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic antibodies.

“With these added funds, we will be able to make significant progress on two of our assets to the clinical candidate stage, and advance others so they are ready for preclinical development,” said Tacalyx CEO Dr Peter Sondermann.

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The extended financing round was led by Thuja Capital, a new investor in Tacalyx. As part of the financing, Thuja Capital partner Evan Castiglia will join Tacalyx’s board of directors. Existing Tacalyx investors include Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund (BIVF), Kurma Partners, and High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF).

In related news in the T cell therapeutics space, French biopharmaceutical company Ipsen recently expanded its ongoing oncology research partnership with Marengo Therapeutics to advance precision TCEs using Marengo’s antibody fusion platform in a deal worth up to $1.2bn.