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SQZ Biotech is looking to drive its cancer vaccine for HPV-positive tumors, through Phase 1 trials and expand its cell-squeezing technology beyond oncology into infectious diseases. SQZ Biotech managed to collect $65 million during its Series of fundings.

Their pipeline is mostly based on a cell therapy platform that squeezes cells, disrupting their membranes to get materials into them. In cancer treatments, this means engineering patients’ immune cells to present tumor antigens to CD8+ or the killer T cells.

The series D round drew fundings from Temasek, GV, Illumina Ventures, Invus, Polaris Partners, NanoDimension, and JDRF T1D Fund. The fund will then be used to fund the ongoing Phase 1 study of the HPV targeting program and the development of its other technologies such as its activating antigen carriers (AACs) and tolerizing antigen carriers (TACs), and as well as expand its APC technology into infectious diseases.

For the Phase 1 study, SQZ Biotech will be using the patients’ cells into treatments within 24 hours, which will help in the production of treatments on the spot itself.

Chief Executive Officer of SQZ Biotech, Armon Sharei said that their progress in oncology and recent expansion into the infectious disease area will show the potential of its platforms. Along with its rapid central manufacturing and investment in developing a new point-of-care system, they strongly believe that this will bring many benefits to the patients.                               

(Source: Fierce Biotech, 2020)