The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced this week that it closed an investment in PhosImmune, a Charlottesville-based clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapeutic cancer vaccines.
PhosImmune controls a library of unique, aberrantly phosphorylated tumor antigens (PTAs) that are directly implicated in metastasis, meeting a pressing need for high quality tumor antigens for use in new and more effective cancer vaccines. PhosImmune’s PTAs are superior to conventional tumor antigens because they are derived from proteins associated with the process that drives cancer, and they target multiple forms of cancer, including leukemia, melanoma, and breast cancer. The Company’s lead candidate, PxM-01, is currently in Phase I testing to treat melanoma. This technology stemmed from research at the University of Virginia.
CIT President and CEO Pete Jobse said, “The team at PhosImmune has developed PTAs that meet an important need in cancer treatment and will enable a variety of targeted immunotherapy approaches. Innovative solutions like this one are what we look for in making CIT GAP Funds investments.”
PhosImmune President Donald Hunt said, “We will use the investment from CIT GAP Funds to expand and continue our current trials, and to develop an additional PTA-based immunotherapy.”
Tom Weithman, CIT vice president and GAP Funds Managing Director, said, “Companies with important and innovative solutions like PhosImmune often find it difficult to obtain the early-stage funding they need to continue to grow and develop their products. CIT GAP Funds looks to plug this funding gap, creating opportunities for Virginia-based startups that can contribute significantly to the Commonwealth’s innovation economy.”
Since its 2005 launch, CIT GAP Funds has invested in over 100 companies across the Commonwealth of Virginia, deploying more than $13 million of public funds and attracting over $200 million more in private funding.