Temasek leads $108m funding for biopharma firm

Singapore investment company Temasek Holdings has led a US$80 million (S$107.7 million) funding round for Singapore-based biopharmaceutical company Tessa Therapeutics. Temasek made the investment alongside Heliconia Capital and EDBI - the dedicated corporate investment arm of the Economic Development Board - as well as other parties.

Tessa Therapeutics describes itself as an "international clinical stage company focusing on T-cell therapy for solid tumours".

It said it will use the funding to "advance its clinical pipeline" and to bring new therapies, based on its 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 is conducting a multi-centre Phase III trial targeting nasopharyngeal cancer and a Phase I trial targeting cervical cancer and oropharyngeal cancer," it said.

Co-founder and chief executive Andrew Khoo added: "Tessa plans to expand its global presence and advance next-generation cellular therapies targeting a wide range of cancer indications."

Tessa Therapeutics said its VST cell production process allows it to "infiltrate and survive in solid tumours long enough to attack and destroy them from within", differentiating it from other cell therapies.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2017, with the headline 'Temasek leads $108m funding for biopharma firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe