Prokarium, a biopharmaceutical company leading the oncology field of microbial immunotherapy, has raised £25 million in new funding. 

Prokarium’s lead programme has the potential to transform the treatment paradigm in bladder cancer, one of the costliest cancers to treat. The firm says this area has seen little innovation in over 30 years.

Prokarium’s pipeline leverages evolutionary advantages of a proprietary strain of Salmonella and combines them with bespoke synthetic circuits to deliver diverse therapeutic cargo for difficult-to-treat cancers.

This follows Prokarium’s announcement of partnering with Ginkgo Bioworks to leverage its foundry and extensive codebase to develop a bactofection platform technology.

“We are excited to advance our vision to create living cures,” said Kristen Albright, PharmD, Chief Executive Officer of Prokarium. 

“Proceeds of this financing will fund our lead oncology program entering clinical development this year and enable platform expansion for the delivery of novel therapeutic payloads, including RNA, via our proprietary bacteria. 

London-based Cygnetise backed by US VC

“With Ginkgo’s partnership and their expertise in strain engineering and optimization we look forward to working towards unlocking a new generation of immuno-oncology therapeutics.”

In addition to the financing, Prokarium has announced the addition of two scientific advisors, Professor Adrian Hayday, PhD and Sam Chang, MD, MBA. 

“Our partnership with Prokarium will utilise Ginkgo’s leading platform capabilities and services to pioneer technological developments that we believe will revolutionise the immuno-oncology field,” added Ena Cratsenburg, chief business officer at Ginkgo Bioworks. 

“Ginkgo is excited to partner with Prokarium to work to build a versatile Salmonella-based bactofection platform capable of delivering targeted, localised RNA therapeutics.”

Feedr snapped up by German platform