Toward a World Where Immunity Defeats Cancer

At Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, we believe our story really began over 120 years ago with the advent of immunotherapy. That’s when surgeon William B. Coley first injected cancer patients with fever-inducing bacterial extracts to shrink tumors.

Redhead woman smiling

As immunotherapy evolved, the scientific quest remained the same: to empower humans’ immunity to defeat cancer. At Checkmate, this life-saving journey has become our mission.

In 1994 our founder, Art Krieg, and his colleagues discovered unmethylated CpG in bacterial DNA as an immune activator. This ground-breaking discovery provided the foundation for the exciting science we are doing today. He continues to lead our search for innovative ways to maximize the effectiveness of the body’s immune response to tumors.

We’re on the path to improving patients’ response to immunotherapy. Our leading clinical candidate vidutolimod is a non-infectious, biologic virus-like particle (VLP) containing CpG-A DNA, which stimulates Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) and is intended to drive a stronger killer T cell response to tumors.

The combination of vidutolimod with a checkpoint inhibitor, which blocks proteins that stop the immune system from attacking cancer cells, may improve clinical responses for patients.

Our future is bright, as we continue to work on innovative ways to improve patient response rates by activating innate immunity in combination with other new immunotherapies for many types of cancer.


OUR VISION: A world in which immunity defeats cancer.

OUR MISSION: Leverage our leadership in innate immunity to develop and deliver therapies that enable patients to defeat cancer.


Our science is directed toward helping patients for whom other therapies have not worked or are unlikely to work. We believe patients with the most difficult-to-treat cancers should have effective treatment options. The Checkmate Pharmaceuticals team is committed to improving clinical outcomes for these patients.

If you or someone you know would like to learn about our ongoing clinical trials, click here.