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Temasek leads funding for Tessa Therapeutics
TEMASEK Holdings, along with its investment unit Heliconia Capital and three other investors, has pumped US$80 million into Singapore-based biopharmaceutical company Tessa Therapeutics.
The other investors are EDBI, the investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board; Hong Kong-based Karst Peak Capital; and Heritas, the investment unit of Hong Kong shipping conglomerate IMC Group.
Describing itself as an "international clinical stage company focusing on T cell therapy for solid tumours", Tessa Therapeutics said that it will use the fresh funding to "advance its clinical pipeline" and to bring new therapies, based on the company's Virus Specific T cell (VST) platform, into clinical trials.
"Tessa's VST technology is showing compelling results in the treatment of solid tumours," the company said. It is currently conducting a multi-centre Phase III trial targeting nasopharyngeal cancer and a Phase I trial targeting cervical cancer and oropharyngeal cancer.
Andrew Khoo, co-founder and CEO of Tessa Therapeutics, said: "Tessa plans to expand its global presence and advance next-generation cellular therapies targeting a wide range of cancer indications."
Tessa Therapeutics said that its VST cell production process allows it to "infiltrate and survive in solid tumors long enough to attack and destroy them from within", differentiating it from other cell therapies.