CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Shoreline Biosciences | November 02, 2021
Shoreline Biosciences, Inc. (Shoreline), a biotechnology company developing intelligently designed allogeneic off-the-shelf, standardized, and targeted induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) derived natural killer (NK) and macrophage cellular immunotherapies, today announced the completion of a $140M financing, led by Ally Bridge Group, with participation from new investors Eventide Asset Management, BeiGene, Irving Investors, Kingdon, NS Investment, Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital, and Superstring. Existing investors Boxer Capital, BVF Partners, L.P., Commodore Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Janus Henderson Investors, Kite, a Gilead Company, Stork Capital, Wedbush Healthcare Partners and an undisclosed leading global investment firm, also participated. In connection with the financing, Frank Yu, Founder, CEO and CIO of Ally Bridge Group, joined the Shoreline Board of Directors.
"We are proud of Shoreline's tremendous progress over the past year, including next generation, more persistent and more effective iPSC-derived NK cells, enhancing our core technologies, advancing our preclinical programs, establishing transformative and validating partnerships with Kite and BeiGene, creating smart manufacturing methods, and attracting exceptional talent to support our next phase of development and growthWith this financing and our corporate partnerships, Shoreline has now more than $300 million to continue building our pipeline of safe, effective and affordable cellular immunotherapies for both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies."
Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D., Shoreline's co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
"Having invested in – and followed closely for several years -- the iPSC-derived NK cells-based therapeutics field which has made highly encouraging progress in the clinic, we are convinced of the true differentiation demonstrated by the Shoreline technology platform. Ally Bridge Group, a leading investor in best-in-class cell therapy companies from oncology to autoimmune diseases, expects Shoreline to be a new category leader," said Frank Yu, Founder, CEO and CIO of Ally Bridge Group.
The proceeds from the financing will allow Shoreline to continue the advancement of its proprietary iPSC platform focused on developing next generation natural killer (NK) cell and macrophage-cell therapies, create potent and persistent NK cell-specific Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) as well as switchable CAR-NK cell engagers and macrophage-specific CARs to treat blood cancers, solid tumors, and other health conditions. With the close of this financing, Shoreline is well-capitalized with greater than $300 million, including committed partnership R&D funding, to execute on its goals and advance its pipeline.
About Shoreline Biosciences
Shoreline is dedicated to creating next-generation cellular immunotherapies for cancer that overcome the current limitations of first-generation cell therapy products. Shoreline is building a pipeline of natural killer cell and macrophage-cell therapy candidates derived from its deep expertise in iPSC differentiation methods and genetic reprogramming of disease relevant pathways. Shoreline has strategic partnerships with Kite, a Gilead Company, and BeiGene, a global biotechnology company, Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization partnerships with well-established organizations, and is supported by high-quality investors. Shoreline Biosciences is headquartered in San Diego, CA.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Sphere Fluidics | October 29, 2021
Sphere Fluidics, a company that has developed and is commercialising single cell analysis systems underpinned by its proprietary picodroplet technology, announced today that it has closed a $40 million investment round. The round was led by Sofinnova Partner and Redmile Group investing on equal terms.
Sphere Fluidics will use the funding to enable the expansion of the Company’s international sales activities in key markets and improving its support for customers. Furthermore, it will expand its product research and development programs, including novel applications for its proprietary Cyto-Mine® Single Cell Analysis System.
The Cyto-Mine is an automated cost-effective platform which integrates single cell screening, sorting, dispensing, imaging, and clone verification and has been purchased by an international customer base including global pharmaceutical companies, biotech, CDMOs, and leading research institutions. The platform can process millions of samples per day, assessing and isolating rare or valuable cell variants or biological products, to simplify and improve throughput across antibody discovery, cell line development and single cell diagnostics. The funds raised will support ongoing commercialization, broadening the technology’s adoption into new, innovative research areas such as cell therapy, synthetic biology and genome editing, in addition to ongoing enhancements of the platform’s capabilities and performance. In conjunction with the financing, Sofinnova’s Tom Burt and Redmile Group’s Rob Faulkner will join the Board.
“This is a transformational investment from two of the most respected specialist investment funds in the industry and a recognition of the untapped potential of the pioneering product and market development carried out by the Company to date.
Andrew Mackintosh, Chairman of Sphere Fluidics
Frank Craig, CEO, Sphere Fluidics, commented: “This funding round is not only testament to the potential of Sphere Fluidics’ single cell analysis technology, but also to the expertise of our team. The investment will underpin our growth strategy, enabling us to expand both our product range and our support to new and existing customers, globally.
Tom Burt, Partner, Sofinnova Partners, commented: “We remain impressed by Cyto-Mine’s high-throughput, ease-of-use and accessible cost. In the growing markets of monoclonal antibody discovery, cell line development and cell therapy, we see a significant need for such an affordable and reliable single cell analysis system as Cyto-Mine, capable of performing multiple assays on tens of millions of individual cells per run.”
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
X-Therma Inc. | December 23, 2021
X-Therma Inc., a biotechnology company developing breakthrough technology for regenerative medicine and organ preservation - has closed an oversubscribed $13M Series A funding round. The financing is led by LOREA AG, an entrepreneur-operated investment firm, with participation from Zen11 Holdings, Graphene Ventures, VU Venture Partners, 2b AHEAD Ventures, Methuselah Foundation, Catalytic Impact Foundation, along with notable return angel investors.
X-Therma’s technology, a nontoxic biopreservation platform enabled by biomimetic peptoid, is transforming global accessibility to organ transplantation, as well as enabling “off-the-shelf” cell and gene therapy products and engineered tissues by providing safe & effective chemically defined cryopreservation that is DMSO-, serum-, and protein-free.
More and Better Organ Transplants
“We’re excited about the transformative impact of X-Therma’s technology and potential to better meet society’s demands of safely and successfully transplanting organs across the globe,” says Dr. Christoph Swarovski, owner and founder of LOREA AG. “Our conviction in this technology was inspired by the world’s dire need of a better solution for organ transport and we are fortunate to help X-Therma bring its vision to fruition.” X-Therma has made a quantum leap in demonstrating a significant extension of organ shelf-life from a few hours to a few days in collaboration with world-leading surgeon, Dr. Gerald Brandacher at Johns Hopkins University.
Less than 10% of the worldwide demand for transplantable organs is being met. Despite many improvements in surgical techniques and immunosuppression, innovations to extend the time window for safe and reliable organ preservation have, until now, fallen short. X-Therma’s turn-key solution XT-ViVo® and TimeSeal® in organ preservation removes this time constraint bottleneck without changing the peri-transplant workflow.
“Most organs are transported in a cooler filled with ice at 4°C. This provides very limited time to deliver organs to patients before they perish or to provide accurate matching. Our chemistry encodes specific protein-like functions into a synthetic molecule to shape ice crystals and prevent further growth into a detrimental size. This fundamentally enables us to safely store organs at sub-zero temperature, which improves transplantation from both organ accessibility and quality perspectives with extended time.”
Dr. Mark Kline, CTO & Co-founder of X-Therma
“Off-the-Shelf” Regenerative Medicine
Currently, many regenerative medicine companies suffer significant logistical barriers to scale up and from the proteomic and epigenetic changes induced by DMSO, decreasing therapy efficacy. Cryopreservatives used today are toxic to cells which can lead to cell damage, reduced product yields, and inefficiencies in production. X-Therma’s flagship product XT-Thrive®, a DMSO-, Serum-, Protein-free and chemically defined cryopreservation solution directly plugs into the current CMC workflow, resolves current bottlenecks in the cell manufacturing process, and enables “off-the-shelf" living medicines, and now is receiving hyper-growth customer demand.
“Founded with the mission to enable global organ banking, our platform technology has expanded to all living medicines. Biopreservation is crucial in the evolving regenerative medicine market. It underlies the sourcing of cellular material, manufacture, storage, and delivery of final products,” says Dr. Xiaoxi Wei, CEO & Co-Founder of X-Therma. “Since the onset of the pandemic, the demand for advanced biopharma cold chain solutions has become extremely hot. COVID vaccines have accelerated this growth and exposed cold-chain weaknesses. From day one, our vision has been focused on the heavy lifting of fundamental scientific breakthroughs to solve the soon-to-be bottlenecks still in existence due to a lack of innovation. Our technology supports cell and gene therapy CMC by greatly improving the critical cell preservation process that can make-or-break the delivery of a successful medicine.”
With this new round of funding, the company plans to scale commercialization of XT-Thrive® to meet customer demand for cGMP-grade cell preservation products aimed at Cell and Gene Therapies and tissue engineering users in chemistry, manufacturing, and control processes. Moreover, through its continued partnership with Johns Hopkins University, X-Therma will expand collaboration efforts worldwide and accelerate the regulatory process for organ preservation.
X-Therma will also continue to expand its multi-disciplinary team, filling positions remotely in its San Francisco Bay Area headquarters and Austria subsidiary.
About X-Therma Inc.
X-Therma is headquartered in Richmond, part of the San Francisco Bay Area, with research centers in Richmond and Berkeley, and now has expanded to Europe in Austria. X-Therma pioneers ground-breaking cold chain technology via a convergent biopreservation platform, to advance Regenerative Medicine and make available safe and on-demand organs, engineered tissues, cell & gene therapies, vaccines, and beyond to patients in need. X-Therma’s technology could be a paradigm shift that makes worldwide organ sharing possible and eliminates organ waiting lists across the globe. X-Therma has been a selected Industrial User at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and received over $10M contracts and grant support from the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.