Galway based cancer cell therapy start-up, ONK Therapeutics, has raised $21.5m in funding.

The Series A round was led by existing investors Acorn Bioventures and serial life sciences entrepreneur, Seamus Mulligan, through ALSHC.

They have been joined by new funder Cormorant Asset Management.

The money is to be used to advance further its pre-clinical programs, including in-vivo proof of concept models.

It will also be used to help develop its manufacturing capability.

ONK was founded in 2015 as a spinout from NUI Galway by Professor Michael O'Dwyer.

The company's pipeline includes three programs that are in pre-clinical development across both hematological malignancies and solid tumors.

"This financing will allow us to continue to deliver against our focused strategy, funding significant program progression, organizational development, and company growth," said Chris Nowers, ONK Therapeutics' CEO.

"Within the next 18 months, we have the potential for multiple IND approvals to enable our evolution into a clinical-stage company."