Corner Therapeutics bags $54m to create vaccines with ‘lifelong’ immunity

Immunotherapy firm Corner Therapeutics has raised $54 million in a Series A funding round to develop its antigen agnostic technology and create vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases.

Millie Nelson, Editor

April 22, 2024

2 Min Read

Massachusetts-based Corner said its technologies focus on releasing the natural intelligence of the body’s dendritic cells (DCs), which regulate the immune system. In turn, the firm aims to provide patients with lifelong protection from disease and claimed it is the first company to “supercharge” DCs to form personalized in vivo T-cell therapies.

The firm said its decision to advance this type of technology is in response to the current T-cell related therapies and checkpoint inhibitors, which have had immunotherapy success but are burdened with high financial cost and physical toll on the patient.

“Harnessing the power and natural intelligence of the dendritic cell offers the potential to open up new frontiers in immunotherapy. DCs are the only cells that can stimulate new T-cell responses to cancer and infection,” a spokesperson for Corner told BioProcess Insider.

“By hyperactivating them, Corner’s approach is designed to generate powerful, precise and long-lived memory T-cells that can protect us for life.”

Corner has its DC hyperactivation platform and its catalytic adjuvant platform. According to the spokesperson, its DC hyperactivation platform “adds two critical functions to the body’s immune response against cancer and infectious diseases.”

  • “Enhanced migration allows DCs to interact with T-cells more efficiently in the lymph nodes, generating a more robust response against pathogens and tumors.”

  •  “Our DC hyperactivators unleash the power of inflammasomes in living DCs, which stimulate the production of IL-1β, the critical T cell memory signal.”

The spokesperson said the two elements mentioned are what is missing from existing vaccine platforms and urged they “are critical to achievable durable, protective immunity from cancer and infectious diseases.”

Corner’s catalytic adjuvant platform has been designed to “create longer-lasting immunity […] which can be applied to turbocharge the effects of existing vaccines, especially messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.”

The firm expects to begin non-human primate studies in the next few months and anticipates initiating its first clinical study in 2025. 

This funding round was led by Ziff Capital Partners, Tanis Ventures, Cockrell Interests, and Sandia Holdings. Additionally, Corner received grant funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance its approach to infectious diseases like influenza, COVID-19, and HIV.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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