Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, a developer of cell therapies to treat cancers and other serious life-threatening diseases, has secured an additional $14.7 million in Series B financing, bringing the round total to $34.4 million. The company had previously raised close to $20 million in the round in March 2012. Existing investors including AVG Ventures and Remeditex Ventures provided the additional capital, which will be used to expand clinical development of Bellicum's lead cellular immunotherapy product candidates.
Bellicum's two lead programs proffer control of cell therapies once inside the body. BPX-501 T cells contain a gene "safety switch," enabling physicians to eliminate transplanted cells in the event they become harmful to the patient. The product is being evaluated in a Phase I/II study to reduce or eliminate graft versus host disease in cancer patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
BPX-201 dendritic cells contain a gene "on switch," enabling physicians to target immune activation for a more potent anti-tumor effect. It is being evaluated in a Phase I clinical trial in patients with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer.