New Investment and CEO For Presage Biosciences
Presage Biosciences has announced that they have received a $6 million investment from Takeda and Celgene, as well as appointing a new Chief Executive Officer. The investment, which comes as Presage’s Series D financing round comes to a close, is intended to help the company further develop their cancer testing technology, the CIVO platform.
Presage, which is based in Seattle, is an oncology company whose core offering is the CIVO intratumoral microdosing platform, a device which simultaneously assesses a tumour’s response to different drugs or drug combinations. This would allow researchers and clinicians to investigate the drug sensitivity of different cancers without the need for multiple expensive and risky clinical trials. The platform is currently undergoing Phase 0 investigations and has shown promising results in prior preclinical tests.
Now, Takeda and Celgene have both shown their support and interest in the platform by investing a total of $6M into Presage for their Series D round. The money will allow the company to broaden the current uses of the CIVO platform and facilitate any further development stages.
At the same time, Presage also announced that their current Chief Scientific Officer, Richard Klinghoffer, is going to be taking over as their new CEO. He’s replacing the out-going Nathan Caffo, who has been CEO of the company for the past nine years and is now transitioning into an advisory role for the company.
“I am honoured to have been a part of the Presage team for the better part of a decade and am immensely proud of the progress the team has made over that time with our ground-breaking approach,” Mr Caffo said in a statement. “Rich’s leadership has always been a crucial part of Presage. Under his guidance, the team created and refined Presage’s intratumoral microdosing platform, and executed numerous important scientific partnerships that apply the CIVO approach. I can think of no one better equipped to lead Presage as CEO and to realise the profound potential of the technology.”
Together, Caffo and Klinghoffer are the two longest-serving employees of Presage; Caffo was the first person to be hired by the company while Klinghoffer was the second.
“When Nathan and I joined Presage as the first two employees of the company, it was because we recognized the transformative potential of the CIVO platform to enable faster proof-of-concept studies for early stage drug candidates,” said Mr Klinghoffer. “Given the well-known lack of translation of animal models to the human clinic, we are excited to provide an approach that allows our partners to test assets in the context where they are ultimately intended to be used – the human cancer patient. This financing allows us to expand our clinical operation and advance the design of our current device to reach a wider array of solid tumours. I look forward to Nathan’s continued assistance and support as Presage works to advance the use of CIVO to provide better treatments for patients with cancer.”