RARE Daily

Orca Bio Raises $192 Million to Transform Allogeneic Cell Therapy

June 17, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

Orca Bio completed a $192 million series D financing to advance development of precision cell therapies, bringing the total raised since the company’s launch in 2016 to nearly $300 million.

The financing was co-led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and an undisclosed investor. Other new and existing investors participating in the latest round, include 8VC, DCVC Bio, ND Capital, Mubadala Investment Company, Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Kaiser Permanente Group Trust, and IMRF.

Orca Bio creates precisely controlled cell therapies by building each dose cell-by-cell from another person’s blood. Each therapy is constructed by formulating a proprietary mixture of cells that aims to cure the patient’s disease and eliminate dangerous side effects.

The new financing will support the continued advancement of Orca Bio’s cell therapy pipeline and its novel manufacturing platform, which sorts blood with single-cell precision and a high level of purity and speed to create optimal therapeutic mixtures of immune and stem cells. These proprietary mixtures have the potential to revolutionize allogeneic cell therapy for hematological and other cancers, as well as many other diseases and disorders.

Orca Bio says its cell therapies have the potential to replace conventional bone marrow transplants and expand the eligible patient population, regenerating a healthy blood and immune system for patients with hematological malignancies, genetic diseases, and autoimmune disorders.

A conventional bone marrow transplant relies on naturally occurring T cells. However, the uncontrolled cellular composition often results in life-threatening complications. The company’s most advanced program, TRGFT-201, is evaluating a highly controlled formulation of T cells that includes subsets of regulatory T cells, in a phase 1/2 clinical study in patients with certain blood cancers. The company’s second program, OGFT-001, is evaluating a fully controlled cell product candidate that contains a next-generation formulation of T cells, in a phase 1 study, also in patients with blood cancers. conducted.

“The capital we have raised has formed the launch pad for a world-class, fully integrated allogeneic cell therapy company differentiated from all others,” said Ivan Dimov, co-founder and CEO of Orca Bio. “Replacing bone marrow transplants is a logical first step in next-generation allogeneic cell therapy. While a conventional bone marrow transplant administers an uncontrolled cell product, Orca Bio has been the first to deliver a high precision cell therapy. We are initially focused on advancing two clinical programs in patients with blood cancers and have successfully treated the largest-ever number of patients with a high precision cell therapy. We believe our approach has the potential to transform allogeneic cell therapy, and thus the treatment of not only blood cancer, but also many other diseases with significant unmet need, such as a variety of genetic diseases and autoimmune disorders.”

Photo: Ivan Dimov, CEO of Orca Bio


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