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Immunopeptidomics Firm ImmuneSpec Secures €1.2M in Seed Funding

NEW YORK – Belgian immunopeptidomics firm ImmuneSpec said Friday that it has incorporated and secured €1.2 million ($1.3 million) in funding from investment firm Heran Partners.

The Antwerp-based company said it will use the funds to refine and commercialize its mass spec-based immunopeptidomics platform, which is based on technology developed at the Centre for Proteomics, a facility run through a collaboration between the University of Antwerp and Flemish research organization VITO.

The company's platform uses a proprietary workflow consisting of purification of MHC-presented peptides, mass spectrometry, and data analysis to perform MAPPs (MHC-associated peptide proteomics) experiments. ImmuneSpec plans to use the platform for applications including identifying immunogenic regions of peptides for vaccine development, identifying neo-antigens for immunotherapy development, and testing biological drugs for unwanted immunogenicity.

"Our team of experts… has been investigating novel techniques for the improvement of immunopeptidomics analyses for several years. We are pleased to leverage our expertise to build out a commercial service offering," ImmuneSpec CEO Elise Pepermans said in a statement. "In comparison to standard methodologies, we are able to identify significantly more immunogenic target regions."

Katleen Vandersmissen, managing partner at Heran Partners, said in a statement that the investment firm was impressed by the scientific knowledge of the Immunopeptidomics team and is "looking forward to supporting them in transforming ImmuneSpec into the go-to player for MAPPS analyses."