Immuno-oncology diagnostics developer HalioDx said today it has closed on an €18.5 million ($22.6 million) Series B financing, with the proceeds to be used toward accelerating the development of its Immunoscore platform for selected cancers, as well as supporting commercial activities in the U.S.
Specifically, HalioDx said it intends to speed up the development of Immunoscore for colon cancer and unspecified additional cancer types.
Immunoscore Colon is an in vitro diagnostic assay designed to diagnose risk of relapse in colon cancer patients. By measuring the density of CD3+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte populations in the center and at the periphery of the tumor via immunohistochemistry, HalioDx reasons, Immunoscore Colon can help oncologists guide their treatment strategies for adjuvant chemotherapy need (Stage II) and duration of treatment (Stage III) in colon cancer patients.
The Immunoscore platform, based on analysis of the tumor microenvironment, is designed to guide oncologists in optimizing the management of their patients by combining immunohistochemistry and advanced digital pathology.
In colon cancer, HalioDx said, it has already accumulated “strong” clinical evidence in predicting individual risk of recurrence. The company is also pursuing reimbursement decisions for Immunoscore in several countries.
The company has also developed a significant immune biomarker partnering program with several biopharmas to assess the predictive value of Immunoscore and other proprietary assays, notably Immunosign and Halioseek. These studies have been conducted in multiple indications, including companion diagnostics approaches for specific immunotherapies.
Immunosign 15/21 uses two different immune gene expression signatures, Immunosign 15 and Immunosign 21, to investigate prognostic and predictive information for cancer immunotherapy development and guide combination therapy strategy. HalioDx has published data from studies of the assay with Kite Pharma and Lytix Biopharma. Halioseek PD-L1/CD8 is intended for the detection of PD-L1 protein and the concomitant detection of CD8 + cells in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) tissue.
“We are conducting an ambitious plan to develop our unique portfolio of diagnostic solutions to contribute to precision medicine. In the past 2 years, HalioDx has been delivering data and diagnostic solutions beyond its own plans,” HalioDx CEO Vincent Fert said in a statement. “This Series B financing will enable us to execute our plans faster and enter efficiently the US market.”
HalioDx was formed in March 2015 through a management buy-out of QIAGEN Marseille, with the goal of commercializing discoveries by co-founder Jerôme Galon, Ph.D., research director at INSERM, and his team at the Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers in Paris. That same month, the company closed on €8 million ($9.8 million) in Series A financing.
For the Series B financing, three investment funds were new investors—PSIM, managed by Bpifrance through its 'Investing for the Future' program; Quest for Growth, managed by Capricorn Venture Partners; and Amundi Private Equity Funds. The three funds joined existing investors MI Care, Sham Innovation Santé/Turenne, BNP Paribas Development, and Sofipaca.
Bpifrance’s “Investing for the Future” program—also known as PIA (Programme d’Investissement d’avenir)—is led by France’s General Investment Commission, and designed to promote investment toward health and biotech, as well as five other strategic priorities: Higher education and training, research, modernization of the industrial sector, sustainable development, and the digital economy.