Asgard Therapeutics raises €6m in international seed financing round

Asgard Therapeutics AB, a Swedish private biotech company pioneering in vivo cell reprogramming approaches to elicit potent anti-cancer immune responses, has announced the completion of a €6m seed financing round. The financing was co-led by Novo Holdings, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Industrifonden.

Funds will be used to further develop off-the-shelf and personalized therapy programs for multiple oncology indications.

Asgard is developing a paradigm-shifting cancer immunotherapy approach, based on its proprietary TrojanDC technology, to reinstate cancer immunogenicity. TrojanDC is a gene therapy that reprograms cancer cells into type-1 conventional dendritic cells, allowing the presentation of their own antigens to the immune system, thereby eliciting potent anti-cancer immune responses.

Designed as an off-the-shelf gene therapy, TrojanDC induces a personalized immune response, and overcomes many of the logistic and manufacturing hurdles of conventional cell-based therapies.

The Company originated from Lund University’s Cell Reprogramming and Immunity lab, led by Professor Filipe Pereira PhD, who is also Asgard’s Co-Founder and Head of Innovation. Cristiana Pires PhD, CEO and co-founder, and Fábio Rosa PhD, co-founder, established the seminal work describing direct reprogramming of somatic cells published in the prestigious science journal Science Immunology 1.

Cristiana Pires, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Asgard Therapeutics, said: “At Asgard, we are committed to surpassing the challenges of current cancer immunotherapies, making them available for every patient. The support we have received from such a strong syndicate of life science investors, is a strong endorsement to the potential of our TrojanDC technology. The financing will enable us to expand our pipeline of preclinical assets and build on our commitment to making personalized cancer immunotherapies optimized to each unique patient.”

João Ribas from Novo Seeds commented: “We are very pleased to co-lead this financing and support the translation of the founders’ scientific research at Lund University. While reprogramming approaches have been mainly restricted to regenerative medicine, the work of Filipe, Cristiana, Fábio and their team opens exciting opportunities to merge the fields of cell reprogramming and cancer immunotherapy that can be applied to several cancers, representing a platform technology with enormous potential. We look forward to working with the Asgard team as they pioneer a new generation of cancer immunotherapy.”