Oncology venture funding, IPOs and partnerships have been exceptionally high in deal volume and values. Cancer continues to be the leading therapeutic area in the number and size of early deals, and the oncology pipeline continues to be a rich source of both follow-on agents as well as first-in-class programs. Immuno-oncology leads in deal values, but much of the pipeline is in tumor-targeted therapies with ever greater patient selection strategies (precision oncology). Targets for adoptive cell therapy (ACT) and next-gen biologics include validated targets (HER2, for example) but also up-and-coming targets like TROP2 and novel targets.
In immuno-oncology, potential partners are pursuing next-generation checkpoint inhibitors and costimulatory agents, from the BIOND-Sanofi partnership around ILT2 to ImCheck’s various BTN programs. Investors are funding a diverse range of cell types and sources. And finally, a new frontier of endogenous reprogramming has opened up where synthetic biology intersects with RNA and gene therapy/editing, along with cell redirecting approaches and drug delivery.