Temasek Holdings leads $108m funding round for Tessa Therapeutics

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Temasek Holdings has led a US$80 million (S$108 million) funding round for Singapore-based biopharmaceutical company Tessa Therapeutics.

Temasek made the investment alongside Heliconia Capital Management and EDBI, the dedicated corporate investment arm of the Economic Development Board, as well as other parties.

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

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 said its VST cell production process lets it "infiltrate and survive in solid tumours long enough to attack and destroy them from within", setting it apart from other cell therapies. - THE STRAITS TIMES