TCR2 Therapeutics, an immuno-oncology company located in the heart of Kendall Square in Cambridge, MA, launched after securing $44.5 million in financing, led by MPM Capital and F2 Ventures.

The company’s lead product is TRuC™, a T-cell receptor (TCR) fusion construct platform that can reprogram the TCR complex to recognize tumor antigens. The company has demonstrated this activity against both hematological and solid tumor targets in preclinical models. TCR2 plans to develop its platform for a variety of highly differentiated T-cell therapies and advance its lead programs toward the clinic.

“We are thrilled to bring TCR2 out of stealth mode as it typifies the innovative start-ups we like to build in-house,” said Ansbert Gadicke, M.D., MPM Capital co-founder and chairman of TCR2’s board of directors.

TCR2 Therapeutics was founded last year by Patrick Baeuerle, Ph.D., managing director of MPM Capital and member of the TCR2’s board of directors. Dr. Baeuerle was previously CSO of Micronet, and led the development of their T-cell engaging bispecific antibody, Blincyto®.

“The T-cell receptor with its six distinct subunits is arguably the most complex receptor found in the human body,” said Dr. Baeuerle. “Growing evidence suggests that all TCR subunits interact with each other in a unique and critical way to determine the strength, duration and quality of response inside T cells. Because the TCR2 TRuC variants are designed to become an integral part of the TCR complex, TRuC-engineered T cells can take advantage of the full signal transduction power of the TCR complex, which is likely needed to improve efficacy of T-cell therapies in solid tumors.”

In October of this year, Garry Menzel, Ph.D., joined the company as CEO and director. Dr. Menzel is a veteran of the industry and has held positions as CSO of Axcella Health, CFO of DaVita Healthcare, and COO of Regulus Therapeutics.

“This is a wonderful time to be at TCR2 because of the great opportunity we have to develop life-changing medicines for cancer patients,” said Dr. Menzel. “We have already validated our novel immunotherapy platform and will be advancing our lead programs rapidly toward the clinic while partnering with industry leaders.”

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