With $12.5M in New Funding, Kanvas Bio is Advancing its Novel, Microbiome-Based, Immuno-oncology Drug Candidates


With $12.5M in New Funding, Kanvas Bio is Advancing its Novel, Microbiome-Based, Immuno-oncology Drug Candidates

by Kanvas Biosciences

Today, we’re thrilled to share that we’ve raised an addi­tion­al $12.5 mil­lion in addi­tion­al fund­ing co-led by DCVC and Lions Cap­i­tal LLC, bring­ing Kan­vas Bio’s total fund­ing to $29.5 mil­lion. This is a major com­pa­ny mile­stone and it posi­tions us to advance KAN-001 (our lead drug can­di­date in our Immuno-oncol­o­gy Pro­gram), launch KAN-003 (our newest ther­a­peu­tic endeav­or) and fur­ther devel­op our spa­tial biol­o­gy platform.

Our Spa­tial Biol­o­gy Plat­form is a Game-Chang­er for Micro­bio­me-Based Therapies 

The Kan­vas Bio spa­tial biol­o­gy plat­form pro­vides the unique abil­i­ty to map host-micro­bio­me inter­ac­tions and lever­age the result­ing data to design live bio­ther­a­peu­tic prod­ucts (LBPs), which can be used to cre­ate nov­el micro­bio­me-based ther­a­pies that opti­mize the micro­bio­me – a crit­i­cal fac­tor in human health. His­tor­i­cal­ly, LBP devel­op­ment has large­ly focused on sin­gle strains of bac­te­ria – which don’t have an appro­pri­ate ecosys­tem to suc­cess­ful­ly engraft and impart ther­a­peu­tic val­ue – or fecal micro­bio­ta trans­plants (FMTs) – which are com­plex and con­sist of many bac­te­r­i­al strains, but are dif­fi­cult to scale com­mer­cial­ly, high­ly vari­able and can­not be optimized. 

At Kan­vas Bio, we have the abil­i­ty to devel­op and man­u­fac­ture com­plex micro­bial con­sor­tia of 148 bac­te­r­i­al strains, pro­vid­ing the ben­e­fits of a com­plex com­mu­ni­ty with mul­ti­ple mech­a­nisms of action and the abil­i­ty to com­mer­cial­ize a repro­ducible prod­uct at scale. This gives us the oppor­tu­ni­ty to help more peo­ple by pro­vid­ing them with an effec­tive, nov­el ther­a­peu­tic approach to some of the most com­mon and debil­i­tat­ing con­di­tions, start­ing with improv­ing the effi­ca­cy of immunother­a­py in the treat­ment of sol­id organ can­cer. Our addi­tion­al fund­ing allows us to accel­er­ate our ear­ly suc­cess in illu­mi­nat­ing host-micro­bio­me inter­ac­tions by launch­ing a clin­i­cal pipeline and man­u­fac­tur­ing process for the next-gen­er­a­tion of LBPs.

Our Drug Can­di­dates Demon­strate Sig­nif­i­cant Poten­tial to Improve Can­cer Outcomes

With­in our clin­i­cal pipeline, KAN-001 is the lead drug can­di­date in our Immuno-oncol­o­gy Pro­gram, and already it’s gen­er­at­ing promis­ing data that shows sig­nif­i­cant poten­tial to improve out­comes for can­cer patients who have been resis­tant to immune check­point inhibitors (ICIs). By con­tin­u­ing to col­lab­o­rate with The Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas MD Ander­son Can­cer Cen­ter and the institution’s Plat­form for Inno­v­a­tive Micro­bio­me and Trans­la­tion­al Research (PRIME-TR), we’ll begin con­duct­ing addi­tion­al pre­clin­i­cal stud­ies for KAN-001, refine the drug’s deliv­ery sys­tem and pre­pare for an Inves­ti­ga­tion­al New Drug (IND) fil­ing in the year ahead.

KAN-003 is the newest drug can­di­date in our Immuno-oncol­o­gy Pro­gram, and it seeks to improve out­comes for patients liv­ing with ICI-naïve can­cers. KAN-003 will be a con­sis­tent dose reg­i­men that can­cer patients can take just before and with ICI treat­ment, and our goal with this drug is to dra­mat­i­cal­ly increase the per­cent­age of patients who respond to ICI ther­a­py across all ICI-approved can­cer types. 

Our Team is Grow­ing and We’re Launch­ing Dis­cov­ery Partnerships 

In addi­tion to our fund­ing and clin­i­cal pipeline momen­tum, we’re excit­ed to share the recent growth of our lead­er­ship team:

  • Lee Swem, for­mer­ly Fed­er­a­tion Bio’s Chief Sci­ence Offi­cer, joined as Kan­vas Bio’s Chief Devel­op­ment Offi­cer. Lee is dri­ving the exe­cu­tion of our LBP port­fo­lio, with a focus on KAN-001
  • Steve Kujawa, who pre­vi­ous­ly led busi­ness devel­op­ment at 10x Genomics, joined as Vice Pres­i­dent of Busi­ness Devel­op­ment. Steve is lead­ing part­ner­ships for our spa­tial biol­o­gy plat­form and licens­ing for non-core LBP assets.
  • Kevin Cut­ler joined Kan­vas Bio as Sci­en­tist with exper­tise in AI. Kevin is spear­head­ing the cura­tion of a state-of-the-art train­ing data­base for machine learn­ing seg­men­ta­tion of microbes, devel­op­ment of deep learn­ing mod­els for spec­tral iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of microbes, and inte­gra­tion of advanced AI into our analy­sis pipelines. 

We’re also active­ly rolling out dis­cov­ery part­ner­ships with phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies that devel­op ICIs. If you’re inter­est­ed in a pos­si­ble col­lab­o­ra­tion with Kan­vas Bio, we’d love to hear from you

Thank You to Our Sup­port­ers… Onward!

A deep, sin­cere thank you to all of the friends, advi­sors and sup­port­ers of Kan­vas Bio – espe­cial­ly the Fed­er­a­tion Bio team, our exist­ing investors DCVC and Lions Cap­i­tal LLC, and our newest investors FemHealth Ven­turesGermin8Ki Tua Fund, and Pan­gaea Ven­tures. Reach­ing this major com­pa­ny mile­stone has absolute­ly been a team effort, and we’re eager to embark on this next phase of growth together!