ImunoTera: discover our history
Startup founded by a group of Brazilian researchers who transformed scientific knowledge into an innovative treatment against cancer associated with HPV.
ImunoTera is a spinoff from the University of São Paulo (USP), founded in 2016, committed to transforming scientific knowledge into an innovative technology for the treatment of cancer and diseases associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV). The Vaccine Development Laboratory, located at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at USP, was the great cradle of this entrepreneurial initiative and the academic career of the founding partners, who worked for years in research to find different strategies for the treatment of diseases associated with HPV. With the desire to apply scientific knowledge and transform it into innovative solutions in health with a global impact, ImunoTera was created. After years of research and using 100% Brazilian technology, a highly versatile and functional platform was developed with different immunological strategies. This platform, developed by the researchers, encompasses different treatment modalities, precisely designed and potentially effective in the treatment of chronic and infectious diseases, such as cancer caused by HPV.
Among the products for the treatment of cancer induced by HPV, TERAH-7 stands out: a therapeutic vaccine capable of enabling the human organism itself to recognize and fight cancer cells through the activation of defense cells present in the immune system. The main benefit of this treatment is the possibility of generating immunological memory against cancer, meaning that the body will potentially be able to prevent the disease from returning over the years. This treatment may be combined with chemotherapy to treat advanced-stage HPV-induced cancers (learn more).
Currently, ImunoTera, in partnership with Hospital das Clínicas, from Faculty of Medicine of USP, seeks to obtain a proof of concept with samples from patients diagnosed with precancerous lesions in the cervix. The startup has already received funds totaling approximately R$ 1.4 million from research incentive programs for small companies, such as PIPE-FAPESP. In addition, in 2020, ImunoTera was one of the winning startups of the Women Innovators Award, organized by Finep in partnership with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) and the City Hall of São Paulo, and is currently one of the companies invested by Biotechtown under the Business Development Program. These initiatives are intended to encourage entrepreneurship in science, transforming, training and connecting scientists to the innovation ecosystem and accelerating their businesses to the scale-up phase.
According to the CEO Luana Raposo de Melo: “Taking a product off the counter and taking it to the market is not a simple process. The university's support has motivated us to face this entrepreneurial journey and not give up on our purpose amidst the difficulties that (always) come along the way!”.