In a recent interview, Indian-born CEO of a German-based biotech research company declared Houston to be “one of the best places in the U.S. to build a biotech company.”
Dr. Harpreet Singh and his company Immatics are described in the piece to be among the leaders in researching the effect of t-cells in fighting cancer.
He reportedly based the U.S.-based branch of his company in Houston to work alongside the leading cancer researchers at the world-famous M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
During an interview, Dr. Singh told the Houston Chronicle about when he attended a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he met Dr. Patrick Hwu, the head of the Cancer Medicine division at M.D. Anderson.
Singh went on to describe Hwu as a “rock star” among the cancer research community, mentioning his success in both cell therapies and vaccine therapies now used in the latest cancer treatments.
His meeting with Hwu went so well, Singh said it became the push he needed for him to set up shop in Houston, and his lead researcher Dr. Steffen Walter moved to Houston in 2015 to launch Immatics U.S.
Singh himself moved his family to Houston the following year, with the company bringing in 50 researchers and staffers from its German offices, since hiring another 50 in Houston:
“We have just opened two clinical trials at MD Anderson, and a third one is about to open,” Singh said further. “The fourth will likely open at the end of this year.”
He went on to talk about how Immatics received new funding to continue its research, including $58 million in financing from German investors, which it plans to use to conduct clinical trials on its t-cell therapies.
“Our vision is to build one of the leading biotech companies in the U.S., even globally, in cancer immunotherapy,” Singh said additionally. “We are not looking just for a short extension of life by a few weeks or a few months. We’re looking for something that will last years. Or even, and I am reluctant to use the c-word, maybe a cure.”
Congrats to Immatics on all their success in Houston thus far.