KAHR is an Israeli medtech startup cancer immunotherapy which is developing novel multifunctional immuno-recruitment proteins. The company just closed an investment round raising $46.5 million. The financing was led by aMoon with participation from new investors BVF Partners LP, DAFNA Capital Management LLC, Peregrine Ventures, Shavit Capital and the Cancer Focus Fund.
KAHR Medical is developing an innovative and novel drug platform of immunotherapeutic bi-functional fusion proteins that harness the human immune system to target multiple cancer indications. The company’s cancer drugs activate a targeted immune response by converting cancer camouflage into beacons for the immune system to attack. The Company’s lead product candidate, DSP107 is a first-in-class CD47x41BB targeting compound that simultaneously binds cancer cells and immune cells, linking them together for maximal activation of the immune system against the tumor. DSP107 is designed to weaken the tumor’s defenses on one hand, and activate an effective, local response of both innate and adaptive immunity on the other hand.
Specifically, DSP107 binds to and inhibits CD47, an immune checkpoint protein overexpressed in many cancer types that enables the tumor to evade immune recognition and attack. Simultaneously, DSP107 binds 41BB on T-cells, stimulating their activation. These activities lead to targeted immune activation through both macrophage and T-cell mediated tumor destruction.
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“The successful financing round of this respected syndicate of investors is a testament to our breakthrough technology platforms and promising next-generation multifunctional, immunotherapeutic pipeline,” said Yaron Pereg, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of KAHR. “Cancer treatment is challenging in that cancer cells continuously change and develop resistance to existing treatments. Another notable hurdle is the ability of cancer cells to evade recognition and elimination by the body’s own immune system. Our novel, multi-pronged product candidates are specifically designed to address these challenges by unmasking cancer cells for immune recognition, and at the same time, providing signals to effectively trigger a targeted synergistic activation of anticancer immunity.”
“Our unique approach positions us in the forefront of cancer immunotherapy, and through this financing we can continue to advance our clinical asset and accelerate our preclinical projects into clinical development across multiple cancer indications for the benefit of patients who are non-responsive or refractory to existing immunotherapies,” added Dr. Pereg.
Gur Roshwalb, MD, Partner, aMoon, said, “KAHR’s multifunctional immunotherapeutic platform has enormous potential to address unmet needs in immuno-oncology. We are particularly excited about KAHR’s differentiated first-in-class CD47x41BB targeting compound, which potentially harnesses both the innate and adaptive immune systems to target solid and hematologic tumors.”