Third Rock Ventures, LLC today announced the formation of Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. with a $47 million Series A financing of the company. Jounce is focused on the discovery and development of first-in-class cancer immunotherapies designed to harness the patient's immune system to seek out and attack cancerous cells and tumors. This transformational approach, as compared to more traditional approaches of targeting the tumor directly, has the potential to drive durable responses to treatment, extending and improving patients' quality of life for years.
Jounce was founded by world leaders in the fields of immunobiology, cancer biology and clinical and translational medicine - James P. Allison, Ph.D., chair, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Department of Immunology, whose research led to the clinical development of ipilimumab (Yervoy™); Padmanee (Pam) Sharma, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, department of genitourinary medical oncology, MD Anderson Cancer Center; Thomas F. Gajewski, M.D., Ph.D., professor, departments of pathology and medicine, University of Chicago; Drew Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D., professor and co-director, cancer immunology and hematopoiesis program, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University; and Louis M. Weiner, M.D., director, Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, professor and chair, department of oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center. Additionally, Robert Schreiber, Ph.D., alumni endowed professor of pathology and immunology and professor of molecular microbiology at the Washington University School of Medicine, is serving as a special adviser to the company.
"This is an exciting time as the promise of cancer immunotherapy is beginning to be realized. With key recent advances in cancer immunotherapy, we have gained invaluable insights into how the immune system recognizes tumors and a better understanding of effective cancer immunotherapy discovery and development," said Dr. Allison. "Jounce has brought together an expert team and powerful capabilities to discover and develop novel treatments that harness the power of the immune system, marking a significant step forward in the way we treat cancer."