Xilio Therapeutics: $100.5 Million Funding And Rebrand From Akrevia Therapeutics

By Dan Anderson ● Mar 3, 2020
  • Xilio Therapeutics (formerly known as Akrevia Therapeutics) announced it has raised $100.5 million in Series B funding

Xilio Therapeutics (formerly known as Akrevia Therapeutics) is a company known for developing potent and tumor-selective immuno-oncology (IO) therapies for patients with cancer. Recently, the company announced it closed $100.5 million in Series B funding.

The proceeds from the funding will be used to progress Xilio’s first two therapeutic candidates, including XTX201 (tumor-selective IL-2) and XTX101 (tumor-selective aCTLA4 mAb) through Investigational New Drug (IND) enabling studies and into Phase 1 clinical trials as well as advance additional tumor-selective cytokine programs using Xilio’s proprietary technology.

This funding round was led by Takeda Ventures with new investors SV Health Investors, MRL Ventures Fund, RiverVest Venture Partners, Bay City Capital, Solasta Ventures, M Ventures, and Ipsen Ventures, joining existing investors F-Prime Capital and Atlas Venture.

Xilio Therapeutics is developing its proprietary technology to create a new class of ultra-potent IO therapies, which are activated selectively within the tumor. And these tumor-selective therapies are designed to overcome the significant toxicities associated with validated IO therapies like IL-2 and aCTLA4 — which have historically limited the number of patients that can be treated and prevented patients from completing full courses of treatment. And XTX201 (IL-2) and XTX101 (aCTLA4 mAb) have demonstrated tumor-selective activity in preclinical models, which significantly widening the potential therapeutic index for these therapies.

In connection with the funding, Takeda Ventures investment partner Jayson Punwani, Mike Ross of SV Health Investors, Peter Dudek of MRL Ventures Fund, and Nancy Hong of RiverVest Venture Partners joined the Board of Directors of Xilio.

Akrevia Therapeutics decided to rebrand to Xilio Therapeutics (pronounced “ex-il-ee-oh”) in order to reflect the company’s evolution from a research-focused organization to a development stage company and commitment to developing the next generation of ultra-potent IO therapies. Xilio is derived from the Latin term “Ex Nihilo,” meaning creation or big-bang and this embodies the company’s vision to create the next generation of transformative cancer treatments for individuals living with cancer by unleashing the full power of highly potent immune therapies precisely in tumors.

Key Quotes:

“We are fortunate to have the support of investors who share our vision to deliver highly potent and effective tumor-selective cancer therapies to patients. This is a transformational moment for the company as we work to bring our first development programs to patients with cancer and expand our tumor-selective cytokine pipeline.”

– Rene Russo, Chief Executive Officer of Xilio Therapeutics

“IO has emerged as a major driver of cancer therapeutic development, and agents in this space have proven effective, resulting in compelling durable clinical responses. We believe Xilio’s proprietary platform offers a compelling approach that builds upon the advancements in IO therapeutics. It is encouraging to see such a strong and supportive Series B syndicate, including leading venture capital groups and strategic partners. We look forward to working with Xilio’s current investors and the leadership team to support the advancement of its pipeline into the clinic.”

– Jayson Punwani, Investment Partner with Takeda Ventures