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NextPoint Therapeutics Raises $80M in Series B Financing

NEW YORK – NextPoint Therapeutics said on Tuesday that it has raised $80 million in Series B financing, which it will put toward advancing its precision oncology drugs targeting the HHLA2 pathway.

The firm's investigational immunotherapies target HHLA2, which is highly expressed on certain difficult-to-treat, PD-L1-negative cancers and are involved in tumors' ability to escape the immune system, similar to the PD-L1 pathway. In blocking HHLA2 — which is separate from the PD-L1 pathway — NextPoint's immunotherapies are designed to reactivate immune cells so they attack tumor cells that were previously escaping immune activity via the HHLA2 escape pathway. 

According to NextPoint, preclinical research has shown that the HHLA2 pathway plays an important role in tumor suppression.

"NextPoint is building a deep understanding of the HHLA2 tumor-specific immune-escape mechanism, with the ultimate goal of establishing standalone treatments in cancers with high HHLA2 expression," NextPoint CEO Detlev Biniszkiewicz said in a statement. "The support of our new investors along with the continued commitment of our existing investors and founders emphasizes our momentum and progress in defining precision immuno-oncology for new patient segments."

The Series B financing round was led by Bayer's investment arm, Leaps by Bayer, and Sanofi Ventures. Invus, Catalio Capital Management, Sixty Degree Capital, and PagodaTree Partners participated as new investors, and existing investors MPM Capital Management, Binney Street Capital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and NextPoint Founder Gordon Freeman participated, too. As part of the financing round, Rakhshita Dhar, Leaps by Bayer's senior director of venture investments health, and Paulina Hill, a partner at Sanofi Ventures, will join NextPoint's board of directors.