Seagen vets land $4.4M for Univ. of Washington spinout using fresh approach for cancer vaccines

University of Washington spinout Abacus Bioscience has raised $4.4 million as part of an ongoing seed round. The company led by Seagen veterans has potentially found a powerful approach for vaccines to treat people with cancer.

The company’s unique approach will link a tumor antigen to an antibody fragment, recognizing the molecule CD180 to activate immune cells to create a response against the antigen. An unpublished study by the company against hepatitis B, found that this method can be used against viruses.

“We had this idea a while ago,” said Abacus co-founder and CEO Alan Wahl. “But over the years we generated really solid proof-of-concept data that this was going to work before we went forward and asked others for money to drive it forward. The data was critical to sell a new approach to investors during the current lull in biotech financing.”