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Larry Kwak

Larry Kwak

PeproMene Bio Inc. raised $40.2 million from 17 investors in a Series B funding round, a June 11 Securities and Exchange Commission filing said.

The Irvine-based biotech has a pre-clinical blood cancer immunotherapy licensed from City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte. The therapy uses a chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapy to treat non-Hodgkin lymphomas developed by Dr. Larry Kwak, director of the Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center at City of Hope.

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Kwak is also chair of PeproMene Bio's scientific advisory board. His former lab at the National Cancer Institute pioneered a cancer vaccine for B-cell malignancies. In 2010, Time magazine named Kwak among the world’s 100 most influential people.

Dr. Hong Qin, a principal researcher in immune-oncology who works with Kwak at City of Hope's lymphoma center, is also on the board and PeproMene Bio's BAFF-R CAR-T treatment for B-cell cancers is being developed at the Duarte hospital.

The biotech's Series A round in September raised $4 million. The company was founded in 2016.

Bartholomew is a reporter at sister publication Los Angeles Business Journal, where a version of this article first appeared.