Carina Biotech capital raise backed by new cornerstone investor

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Cell therapy immuno-oncology company Carina Biotech has raised $7.5 million at the first close of its current funding round.

The company said it welcomes new venture capital business Tenmile as the cornerstone investor together with strong support from existing investors.

“We are delighted to welcome Tenmile as an investor in Carina Biotech with its commitment to accelerate high impact, cutting edge Australian health technology innovation. We are also pleased that our other shareholders have continued their strong support,” said Carina CEO Dr Deborah Rathjen.

“This investment will allow us to complete the studies required to submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate a clinical trial of our LGR5 CAR-T in patients with advanced colorectal cancer,” said Dr Rathjen.

“Colorectal cancer is Australia’s second deadliest cancer and its incidence is rising in people under the age of 50.  Many younger people are diagnosed at advanced stages of the disease with very poor prognoses. This is a lethal cancer for all Australians, young and old, that we want to be able to treat. CAR-T therapy is currently used for the treatment of blood cancers and it has proved to be curative. We are very excited to be able to bring this personalised form of immunotherapy embedded with Carina’s proprietary CAR-T technology to patients with solid cancers,” added Dr Rathjen.

Tenmile executive chair Dr Steve Burnell said, “Carina represents the kind of investment opportunity Tenmile looks for - advanced novel technology addressing a major unmet medical need, depth of expertise, global networks and strong intellectual property. It also reflects our commitment to using our capital as a force for good including backing female-led businesses.”