Genenta Raises $8M ,To Fund Research Of Hematopoietic Stem Cell

Tumor microenvironment, including tumor-associated macrophages, plays a key role in controlling tumor progression and response to therapies. It stimulates tumor growth, supports angiogenesis and tissue remodeling, as well as neutralizes host immunity.

Genenta Science is using this very mechanism, in order to help identify new therapeutic targets. The Italian biotech that raised an overall €10.0M in its series A fundraising has now acquired $8M (€7M) in the Series B to continue investigating its use of hematopoietic stem cells to treat cancer.

The fund is expected to allow the biotech to start a second tumor indication, adding to their current target multiple myeloma. The company’s technology targets the immunosuppressive microenvironment that surrounds a tumor, which protects cancer cells from attack. A lentiviral vector delivers a therapeutic gene into hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, which mature into monocytes and macrophages.

Genenta Science technology involves the use of interferons; proteins that are usually produced by the body in response to infections that also exhibit a powerful anti-tumor activity. However, the clinical use of interferon as a drug has been limited due to its high toxicity.

Genenta Science’s innovative therapy uses a combination of transcriptional and microRNA‐mediated control, so tumor-infiltrating monocytes/macrophages become

capable of selectively expressing interferon limited to the tumor area, reducing its toxicity. The gene, that will target interferon‐α expression, is delivered into the hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) by genetically disabled Lentivirus.

So far the strategy has only been tested in mice, but enhanced immune-mediated clearance of a transplanted human breast tumor was achieved. Next, Genenta will likely aim to refine their product ready for use in clinical studies.

Disha Padmanabha
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