Asgard Therapeutics announces €30 million Series A financing to advance its first-in-class in vivo cell reprogramming platform for immuno-oncology

Posted 14 March, 2024
  • Co-led by RV Invest and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. with participation from existing investors Novo Holdings, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Industrifonden
  • Lead program is AT-108, a first-in-class, off-the-shelf intra-tumoral therapy that leads to personalized and potent anti-cancer immune responses
  • Expanding R&D team to further develop AT-108 and broaden in vivo reprogramming pipeline

Lund, Sweden, 14 March 2024 – Asgard Therapeutics, a privately held biotech company pioneering in vivo direct cell reprogramming for cancer immunotherapy, today announces a €30 million Series A financing. The funds will be used to support development of Asgard´s lead program AT-108 to IND-readiness by 2026, expand and reinforce its research and development team, and fuel new reprogramming modalities and delivery platforms to strengthen the pipeline. The round was co-led by RV Invest and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., with participation from existing investors Novo Holdings, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund and Industrifonden.

AT-108 is a first-in-class, off-the-shelf gene therapy that directly reprograms tumor cells into antigen-presenting dendritic cells, ultimately leading to a personalized anti-tumor immune response. Building on several publications in the high-impact journal Science Immunology [I] [II] [III] , AT-108 has achieved preclinical proof of concept (PoC) in patient-derived ex vivo models as well as rodent in vivo models, inducing strong anti-tumor immunity and abscopal effect, even in a monotherapy setting.

Cristiana Pires, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Asgard Therapeutics, said: “Asgard’s technology overcomes challenges faced by traditional cell therapies, enabling the recreation of desired functional immune cells directly inside the patient’s body. We believe this breakthrough strategy will give rise to the next generation of cell therapies. This financing also follows a strong pre-clinical package providing PoC for AT-108. We would like to thank both new and existing investors for their support as we discover and develop innovative immunotherapies with breakthrough potential and look forward to progressing our lead program AT-108 to the clinic.” 

Aleksei Zeifman, Investment Manager of RV Invest, commented: “Asgard’s unique approach to cancer immunotherapy by using direct cell reprogramming has great potential to create personalized treatments at scale which could be used in many cancer indications. We’ve been impressed by the elegance of the technology and robustness of the scientific package generated by Asgard’s team. We are delighted to be supporting Asgard’s stellar team on the path of bringing the drug to patients and joining such a strong group of investors.”

João Ribas, Principal, Novo Holdings, Seed Investments, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome new investors JJDC and RV Invest to Asgard Therapeutics. This marks a significant milestone for Asgard’s novel concept of direct in vivo cellular reprogramming in oncology. We’re proud to continue to support Asgard in its mission to bring an off-the-shelf personalized therapy to the clinic and deliver on the promise of the technology for the benefit of patients.”

AT-108 reprograms cancer cells inside the patient’s body to become conventional Type 1 Dendritic Cells (cDC1s), a rare subset of immune cells, which are critical for effective anti-tumor immunity. These induced cDC1s present the individual’s specific cancer antigens to the immune system, triggering personalized and systemic anti-cancer immune responses. AT-108 is based on a replication-deficient adenoviral vector that delivers three transcription factors into tumor cells, rewiring their gene expression signatures and thus “programming” them to become immunogenic cDC1-like cells.  

Aleksei Zeifman, Investment Manager at RV Invest, and a representative from Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., will join Asgard’s board of directors with immediate effect.

For further information, please contact:

Asgard Therapeutics

Cristiana Pires, Co-founder and CEO   


Optimum Strategic Communications

Mary Clark, Stephen Adams, Elena Bates

Tel:  +44 (0) 20 8142 3740


Notes to Editors

About Asgard Therapeutics

Asgard Therapeutics is a privately held preclinical stage biotech company pioneering in vivo direct cell reprogramming for cancer immunotherapy. The company builds on ground-breaking and proprietary reprogramming technologies to develop gene therapy products designed to set in motion efficient and personalized immune responses. Backed by Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc., RV Invest, Novo Holdings, Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund, and Industrifonden, Asgard Therapeutics aims to establish a pipeline of off-the shelf cancer immunotherapies that trigger personalized anti-cancer immune responses for the benefit of cancer patients in need. For more information, please visit:     

About RV Invest     

RV Invest is a VC fund investing in highly differentiated technical solutions that can become future standards of care. RV Invest´s mission is to support innovations that improve patients‘ lives. The fund engages early and stand alongside founders and researchers to bring outstanding ideas to the market.

[I] DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aau4292

[II] DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abg5539

[III] DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.add4817