ImaginAb raised $12.5 million in an oversubscribed Series A round of financing led by Novartis Venture Funds. The firm is exploiting its engineered antibody fragment platform to develop positron emission tomography (PET) diagnostic imaging agents and therapeutic products. It says the funds will be used to speed clinical development of its cancer and immunology imaging programs, which are focused on the staging of metastatic prostate and pancreatic cancer. “This is an important growth financing event for ImaginAb because it augments financial resources from our rapidly expanding pharma companion diagnostic program and strategic National Cancer Institute funding,” comments CEO Christian Behrenbruch, Ph.D.
ImaginAb’s technology effectively allows antibodies to be re-engineered into smaller fragments with fast kinetics suitable for diagnostic imaging, while maintaining target biospecificity. The firm is developing an internal pipeline of imaging agents for a range of indications, and has over a dozen development programs ongoing with biopharma partners to develop companion diagnostic imaging agents for use alongside therapeutic antibody drugs.
In October 2011 ImaginAb was awarded a $2.3 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the NCI to further develop diagnostic imaging agents for PET, and in particular to accelerate development of its prostate and pancreatic cancer programs.