Prepping for key ASH presentation, little Aprea Therapeutics gets $57M to fuel PhIII p53 cancer study

Seven months ago, Stockholm-based Aprea Therapeutics managed to remain almost completely overlooked at AACR when the biotech unveiled data from a handful of 8 patients with TP53 Mutant Myelodysplastic Syndromes. Scientists said the study demonstrated a 100% overall response rate for their p53 corrector — APR-246 combined with azacitidine.

Christian Schade

Six of the patients had a complete response according to investigators.

But while they may have achieved little recognition for the low-profile Phase Ib/II trial, venturing into a p53 arena that has seen multiple setbacks over the years, Aprea’s investors appear to have taken note.

Today the biotech touted a $57 million raise for a drug designed to correct mutant p53 so it can go about its business in killing cells.

Aprea — helmed by CEO Christian Schade — now is planning to use the Series C cash to gear up a pivotal trial for their drug while prepping updated Phase II data for the upcoming ASH conference in San Diego.

David Sallman

The lead investigator for the MDS study is David Sallman from the Moffitt Cancer Center.

Whatever they have coming up must be good, because the biotech attracted quite a crowd of transatlantic investors. Redmile Group led the round, with new investor Rock Springs Capital chipping in alongside existing investors: 5AM Ventures, Versant Ventures, HealthCap, Sectoral Asset Management and Karolinska Development AB.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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