Just one day after announcing a cancer combo collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Taris Biomedical has raised $25 million in a new Series B round backed in part by the pharma giant.
Some of that new cash will be used to take the company’s lead program, called TAR-200, through early clinical trials. TAR-200 has been designed to release gemcitabine, a chemotherapeutic agent, in the bladder continuously over seven days.
Taris is developing therapies for both bladder cancer and overactive bladder, said the company’s president and CEO Purnanand Sarma.
“Both programs demonstrate our unique approach to designing novel therapeutics that may dramatically change the management of these serious diseases,” Sarma said in a statement. “Funds from this round will be used to rapidly advance both indications through key clinical milestones.”
Yesterday, Taris and BMS announced their collaboration on a Phase Ib combo study for muscle invasive bladder cancer. They’ll be combining BMS’ PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo with TAR-200, which controls release of a therapy in the bladder, in patients scheduled for a radical cystectomy.
“We continue to explore multiple approaches to treating cancer as part of our broad research program focused on delivering the next wave of oncology therapies,” said Fouad Namouni, head of development in oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb, in a statement. “Partnering with Taris will allow us to advance our scientific understanding of combining Opdivo with continuous local chemotherapy as we seek to improve outcomes for patients with this aggressive form of bladder cancer.”
This new round of financing was led by Yonghua Capital, with participation from new investors BMS and Norma Investments, representing businessman Roman Abramovich. Existing investors Flagship Pioneering, Polaris Partners, and RA Capital Management, also participated in the Series B round.
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