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Capitalizing on cytokines
October 2020
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NEW HAVEN, Conn.—Biotechnology company Simcha Therapeutics launched this summer with $25 million from a Series A financing and a focus on developing biologics that modulate cytokine pathways in hopes of better utilizing the immune system. The company’s lead program, which it hopes to move into the clinic in H1 2021, features a customized variant of interleukin-18 that was featured in Nature earlier this year. Simcha’s engineered cytokines are designed to improve immune cell activation, differentiation and proliferation, and to combat immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments.
 
“At Simcha, we set out to improve on nature’s design by engineering custom-built proteins that can precisely activate and expand populations of crucial immune responders, such as natural killer cells and T cells. Too many cancer patients do not respond to the immunotherapies available today. We’re hopeful that our approach will provide new options and potential benefits to these patients,” said Dr. Aaron Ring, scientific founder of Simcha and assistant professor of Immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine.

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