VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 1, 2016) - Today, Quark Venture Inc., a Vancouver-based venture capital company, announced a $4 million investment in SQZ Biotech, a company originating out of Dr. Klavs Jensen and Robert Langer's famed laboratories at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. Quark Venture joins GV (formerly Google Ventures), NanoDimension, Polaris Partners and others, bringing the total financing round to $24 million.
SQZ Biotech is developing a new generation of cell therapies that harness the body's natural immune system to combat disease. SQZ will utilize the Series B funds to further invest in the platform and advance its preclinical immuno-therapy programs in oncology and other serious diseases.
"We are pleased to have Quark Venture as part of our investment team. Not only does their team bring a wealth of experience in technology, drug development and commercialization, they are also globally connected and, through their Global Health Sciences Venture fund, are committed to investing in disruptive platforms and innovative biotechnology companies," says Armon Sharei, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SQZ Biotech. "We believe this investment will boost our efforts to develop novel cell therapies and allow us to take a global view on how to maximize impact of this potentially transformative technology."
"This is exactly the kind of ground breaking technology the Quark Venture Global Health Sciences Venture Fund was set up to support. The technology finds a new and efficient way to get molecules into cells and to enable the development of new cell therapies," said Karimah Es Sabar, Chief Executive Officer of Quark Venture. "This is a game changer that has the potential to enable new, high profile therapeutic approaches to address our most challenging diseases. We are pleased to join other significant investors and to partner with the team at SQZ Biotech."
Dr. Robert Langer's MIT Laboratory is world renowned in biotechnology circles for producing transformational science and technologies. Dr. Klavs Jensen's MIT Laboratory has been a pioneer in developing microfluidic systems for high-impact applications.
About Quark Venture
Quark Venture Inc. is focused on equity financing of innovative biotechnology and health sciences companies with breakthrough technology platforms and projects. Last month, Quark Venture and GF Securities Company Limited, a leading investment bank in China, announced a new US$500 million global health sciences venture fund that invests globally in a diversified portfolio of innovative biotechnology and health sciences companies who are addressing unmet medical needs through innovations in drug development, medical devices, health IT and emerging convergent technologies. For more information on Quark Venture visit www.quarkventure.com.
About SQZ Biotech
Discovered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by Drs. Klavs Jensen, Robert Langer, and Armon Sharei, the SQZ Biotech platform is a proprietary membrane disruption technology dubbed CellSqueeze. The technology's unique cell engineering capabilities are being used to develop the next generation of cell therapies. Through internal research programs and external partnerships, SQZ is leading a revolution in scientists' approach to disease research and clinical therapies, developing novel methods to engineer cell function and harness the power of a patient's own cells to combat disease more effectively across a broad range of indications. For more information please visit www.sqzbiotech.com.