SQZ Biotechnologies Company filed last week with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to raise up to $75 million in an initial public offering (IPO).
The company is developing cell therapies for cancer, infectious diseases, and other serious conditions. Its most advanced platform, SQZ Antigen Presenting Cells (SQZ APC), is currently in a Phase 1 trial in HPV+ tumors, with initial data expected in the 2H21.
SQZ was founded in 2013 by Dr. Armon Sharei, who is the lead inventor of Cell Squeeze®. His research was based on his team’s work in the laboratories of Dr. Klavs Jensen and Dr. Robert Langer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The company booked $23 million in revenue for the 12 months ended June 30, 2020. SQZ filed confidentially on July 21, 2020.
The Watertown, MA-based company announced in January that the first patient in its Phase 1 clinical trial of SQZ-PBMC-HPV received their first dose. SQZ-PBMC-HPV is an autologous cell therapy candidate comprised of SQZ-engineered antigen presenting cells (APCs) designed to induce CD8 T cell responses against HPV16. The doses for the patient were manufactured in under 24 hours, leveraging SQZ’s novel technology and rapid manufacturing process. The first dose was administered to the patient while additional doses are cryopreserved and available on-demand. This marks the first patient dosed with a cell therapy candidate developed from SQZ’s proprietary Cell Squeeze® cell engineering technology – a milestone for the company.
Notes from video: The company mostly uses red blood cells to impart therapeutic benefit. The throughput is indicated at more than ten billion per minute.
Simple novelty plus scalability – this is what SQZ is all about.
Generating cell therapy candidates with Cell Squeeze® is simple, as illustrated below: the technology physically squeeze cells at high speeds through a microfluidic constriction to temporarily disrupt the cell membrane and enable the target cargo to enter directly into the cytosol. Cell Squeeze® is able to process over 10 billion patient cells per minute at current clinical scale and introduce virtually any cargo of interest into any cell type to create what the company believe to be an unprecedented range of potential therapeutics. This unique technology and its products are covered by 25 patent families.
To date, the company has leveraged Cell Squeeze® to build three cell therapy platforms that it is applying to multiple therapeutic areas. These platforms are designed to modulate the immune system in a target-specific manner with initial applications in oncology, infectious disease and immune disorders. The company’s platforms are designed to be able to manufacture product candidates in under 24 hours and administered without any pre-conditioning and without any planned hospitalization, creating what the company believe is a more streamlined, accessible patient experience and a lower burden on the health system, from a time and cost perspective.
Source: SQZ Biotechnologies Company
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