BELGIUM – PDC*line Pharma, a clinical-stage biotech company developing a new class of potent and scalable active off-the-shelf cancer vaccine, has completed its Series B2 round of funding, raising €17.5 million (US$20.3 million) in total from Belgian and South Korean investors.

PDC*line Pharma has attracted new investors and secured a further capital increase of €11.8 million (US$13.7million) less than two years after its €20M (US$23.2 million) B1 round of fundraising, which was announced in January 2020.

Furthermore, the company has received a €5.7M (US$6.6million) repayable grant from the Walloon Region of Belgium, which has supported the company since its inception in 2016. As a result, the company will have raised a total of €37.5 million euros in this series B round.

This financing round was led by Korea Investment Partners, a leading multibillion-dollar South Korean fund, and included a syndicate of new South Korean life sciences investors: Alpha Holdings, Brain Asset Management, and Hansongneotech Co. Ltd.

Noshaq Group (ex-Meusinvest), Sambrinvest (the Charleroi investment fund), SFPI-FPIM (the Belgian Federal Holding and Investment Company), SRIW (The Regional Investment Company of Wallonia), and Smart Korea UTC Bio-Healthcare Venture Fund were also among the investors that participated in the round.  

Proceeds from the Series B funding round will mainly be used for the phase I/II trial of PDC*lung01 cancer vaccine candidate targeting Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC).

PDC*lung01 belongs to a class of active immunotherapies for cancers the company is developing based on a GMP-grade allogeneic therapeutic cell line of plasmacytoid dendritic cells- its PDC* cell line.

PDC*vac mechanism of action

PDC*vac technology is the only therapeutic cancer vaccine based on a line of Dendritic Cells (DC), and the only one based on Plasmacytoid DCs.

PDC*line is a proprietary plasmacytoid dendritic cell line that can be engineered with synthetic peptides derived from a combination of tumor antigens relevant to the type of cancer being treated.

The resulting PDC*vac effectively primes and boosts fully functional antitumor CD8* T cells, resulting in powerful and targeted cytotoxic T cell response against tumor cells.

The same product can be used to treat all patients with cancer who express the selected antigens and have HLA-A2 expression (about 50 percent of the European and 36 percent of the US population).

High potency

The biotech company alleges that its PDC*line is far more effective than traditional dendritic cell-based vaccines at priming and boosting antitumor antigen-specific cytotoxic T-cells, including T-cells specific for neoantigens, and that it works synergistically with checkpoint inhibitors.

The PDC*line is 20 to 200 times more potent than the conventional dendritic cells (DCs), based on an article published in

PDC*line outperforms conventional myeloid dendritic cells in priming and expanding antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells due to differences in the expression of co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory molecules, as well as cytokine receptors.

Liked this article? Sign up to receive our regular email newsletters, focused on Africa and World’s healthcare industry, directly into your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE