Cytune Pharma secures €6M in financing to advance lead immuno-oncology program to Phase I

June 29, 2016
Source: Cytune Pharma’s Press Release

Nantes, June 29, 2016 Cytune Pharma SAS, a French biotechnology company focused on developing novel immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, announced the closing of a €6M financing round from existing investors. Funds will be used to advance the RLI15 lead program to Phase I clinical trials. Key investor PPF Group and the founding shareholders also agreed on a full buyout of the remaining shares at the start of Phase I.

Cytune’s lead product RLI15 and its platform, based on a modified and improved IL-15, allow for combinations with other immunotherapeutic strategies, including checkpoint inhibitors. RLI15, due to its unique mode of action, has been proven to stimulate immune effector cells, such as cytotoxic and helper T cells, as well as NK cells, but does not stimulate the immune-inhibitory regulatory T cells or other cells. As established in pre-clinical experiments, RLI15 is more potent and better tolerated compared to the normal IL15 or IL2.

PPF Group and other existing investors participated in the financing. The funds will enable Cytune to advance RLI15 to Phase I clinical trials in 2017 and broaden its immunocytokine product pipeline based on RLI15. Cytune Pharma and SOTIO, a biotechnology company experienced in the clinical development of oncology products and a member of PPF Group, will closely collaborate on the further development of Cytune’s pipeline.

Dr David Bechard, President of Cytune Pharma commented:

“Our innovative products have the potential to provide more efficacious and safer treatments to cancer patients, when used either as monotherapy or for augmenting immunotherapies currently on the market. We are very grateful for the continuous and strong support of our shareholders.”

Ladislav Bartonicek, shareholder of PPF and CEO of SOTIO, commented:

“We are very pleased with the latest data and progress of the Cytune projects, as well as the diligence with which the team advances RLI15 towards its first clinical trials. We are looking forward to moving RLI15 through clinical development to be able to offer superior alternative treatments to cancer patients.”

About Cytune Pharma SAS
Cytune Pharma is a private company dedicated to the research and development of a portfolio of novel immunotherapeutic agents which expand and activate immune responses to treat advanced cancers. Cytune Pharma leverages the transpresentation mechanism of the critical immune factor, IL-15, by the IL-15Rα chain thanks to the development of a proprietary scientific breakthrough in immunology. Its proprietary lead product, CYP0150 (RLI), is a human fusion protein between IL-15 and the high-affinity binding site of IL-15Rα. Cytune is further developing different antibody-RLI conjugates. Cytune’s technology originally emanates from the academic team of Dr Yannick Jacques at the Inserm unit U892 of Nantes, France. The company was founded in 2007. For more information about the company visit the website

About PPF
PPF Group invests into multiple market segments such as banking and financial services, telecommunications, biotechnology, real estate, retail, insurance and agriculture. PPF’s reach spans from Europe to Russia, the USA and across Asia. PPF Group owns assets exceeding EUR 21.6 billion (as at 31 December 2015). For more information about PPF visit

SOTIO is an international biotechnology company developing new medical therapies, focusing on the treatment of cancer and autoimmunity diseases. The company develops its proprietary platform of active cellular immunotherapy on the basis of dendritic cells. SOTIO is verifying safety and efficacy of its DCVAC products through multiple clinical trials, VIABLE Study being its pivotal Phase III trial. SOTIO has facilities in Europe, the United States, China and Russia and has all functionalities needed for research, clinical development and market access in-house. SOTIO is also leading the efforts of PPF Group to build a diverse biotechnology portfolio through collaborations, in-licensing, investments, mergers and acquisitions. SOTIO is looking to partner with other companies and institutions that develop promising biotechnology projects. For more information about the company visit the website