RARE Daily

Be Bio Raises $130 Million to Pioneer Engineered B Cells as Therapeutics in Oncology and Rare Disease

April 14, 2022

Be Biopharma said it closed on $130 million in a series B financing round to advance its novel cell therapy platform and programs targeting oncology and rare diseases.

Photo: Joanne Smith-Farrell, CEO of Be Bio

ARCH Venture Partners led the financing and was joined by Bristol Myers Squibb and other new investors, alongside existing investors Atlas Venture, RA Capital Management, Alta Partners, Longwood Fund, and Takeda Ventures. Steven Gillis, managing director at ARCH Venture Partners, joined the board of directors. Robert Nelsen, co-founder and managing director of ARCH Venture Partners and Robert Plenge, senior vice president, and head of the Immunology, Cardiovascular, and Fibrosis Thematic Research Center at Bristol Myers Squibb, join as observers.

Founded in October 2020 by Longwood Fund and B cell engineering pioneers David Rawlings and Richard James from Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Be Bio is pioneering engineered B cell medicines (BeCM), a new class of cellular medicines, to dramatically improve patients’ lives who are living with cancer, rare diseases, and other serious conditions.

In nature, a single B cell engrafts in the bone marrow and can produce thousands of proteins per second at constant levels over decades. B cells are nature’s exquisite medicine factories, manufacturing proteins to fight disease and maintain health. Be Bio is unleashing the power of B cells to drive a new class of cellular medicines, BeCMs, which the company says have the potential to be durable, allogeneic, redosable, and administered without toxic conditioning. The promise of BeCMs could transform therapeutic biologics with broad application across protein classes, patient populations and therapeutic areas.

The proceeds will advance Be Bio’s proprietary autologous and allogeneic BeCM platforms across multiple therapeutic areas and progress pipeline candidates toward the clinic. Be Bio has a broad pipeline initially focused on rare disease and cancer, and as it advances its platform, the company plans to expand into additional therapeutic areas including infectious disease, neurological conditions, and autoimmune disease.

“The human B cell produces thousands of proteins per second. Be Bio is harnessing this remarkable cell to engineer a new class of cellular medicines that produce durable therapeutic proteins in vivo with the potential ability to dose titrate, and re-dose when required, without the need for toxic pre-conditioning,” said Joanne Smith-Farrell, CEO of Be Bio. “Our pipeline spans multiple therapeutic areas, and we are inspired and humbled by the potential to transform patients’ lives. With the support of highly regarded investors and the addition of Dr. Gillis to our Board of Directors, Be Bio is in a strong position to advance novel programs across our rare disease and oncology portfolios, further develop our platform and manufacturing capabilities, and expand our team.”

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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