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Waltham, Mass.-based Palleon Pharmaceuticals has launched with $47.6 million in series A funding to develop immuno-oncology drugs based on cancer glycans—the sugar molecules that protrude from tumors and are used to avoid immune system surveillance. The approach is reminiscent of checkpoint inhibitor therapies, which jump-start the immune system’s ability to target tumors, but Palleon’s drugs will take aim at immune cell receptors that get misdirected by tumor glycans. Palleon’s scientific cofounders include Stanford University chemist Carolyn Bertozzi and University of Dundee glycoimmunologist Paul Crocker.
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