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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