Normunity CEO Rachel Humphrey and founder Lieping Chen

PD-L1 pi­o­neer Lieping Chen, Rachel Humphrey spin out new biotech to break down the door on cold tu­mors

In 2015, Lieping Chen — the I/O re­searcher whose ear­ly work es­tab­lished the PD-1/PD-L1 as a can­cer tar­get and the co-founder of Am­plim­mune, bought out by As­traZeneca in a $500 mil­lion deal in 2013 — start­ed NextCure, a start­up fo­cused on PD-L1 neg­a­tive tu­mors, or tu­mors in which check­point in­hibitors don’t work.

But NextCure’s lead pro­gram, NC318, has not been smooth sail­ing, and NextCure’s shares are cur­rent­ly worth less than $3 apiece, a far cry from its start at $19.50 and its peak of over $80.

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