Prokarium Announces $30 Million Financing to Deliver Lead Program into Clinic and Build Novel Therapeutic Platform
Prokarium, a biopharmaceutical company leading the oncology field of microbial immunotherapy, has raised $30 million in new financing. This follows Prokarium’s announcement of partnering with Ginkgo Bioworks to leverage its world-class Foundry and extensive Codebase to develop a bactofection platform technology.
“We are excited to advance our vision to create living cures,” said Kristen Albright, PharmD, Chief Executive Officer of Prokarium. “Proceeds of this financing will fund our lead oncology program entering clinical development this year and enable platform expansion for the delivery of novel therapeutic payloads, including RNA, via our proprietary bacteria. With Ginkgo’s partnership and their expertise in strain engineering and optimization we look forward to working towards unlocking a new generation of immuno-oncology therapeutics.”
Prokarium’s lead program has the potential to transform the treatment paradigm in bladder cancer, one of the costliest cancers to treat, in its efforts to become the new standard-of-care in a market that has seen little innovation in over 30 years and to offer advanced therapies an alternative to Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG). Prokarium’s pipeline leverages evolutionary advantages of a proprietary strain of Salmonella and combines them with bespoke synthetic circuits to deliver diverse therapeutic cargo for difficult-to-treat cancers.
“We believe Prokarium is a truly differentiated company,” added Thomas Eldered, Executive Chairman, Flerie Invest. “The new funds and Prokarium’s partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks will accelerate the cutting-edge innovation essential to lead the advancements in the field of synthetic biology and immunotherapy for years to come.”
“Our partnership with Prokarium will utilize Ginkgo’s leading platform capabilities and services to pioneer technological developments that we believe will revolutionize the immuno-oncology field,” added Ena Cratsenburg, Chief Business Officer at Ginkgo Bioworks. “Ginkgo is excited to partner with Prokarium to work to build a versatile Salmonella-based bactofection platform capable of delivering targeted, localized RNA therapeutics.”
In addition to the financing, Prokarium has announced the addition of two scientific advisors, Professor Adrian Hayday, PhD and Sam Chang, MD, MBA. “We are thrilled to welcome Adrian and Sam as advisors as we transition into a clinical-stage company,” concluded Albright. “Adrian brings the deep immunology and immunotherapy expertise, and Sam possesses invaluable clinical experience being involved in numerous bladder cancer clinical trials.”
Professor Hayday is the founding Chair of Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology at King’s College London and is currently Principal Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute. Sam currently serves as the Chief Surgical Officer at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center.
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