RARE Daily

Sana Biotechnology Raises More Than $700 Million in Initial Financing

June 23, 2020

A year and a half after launching, Sana Biotechnology said it has raised more than $700 million to focus on creating and delivering engineering cells as medicines for patients.

Photo: Steve Harr, Sana president and CEO

“Sana is dedicated to modulating genes in cells as well as replacing damaged cells in the body,” said Steve Harr, Sana president and CEO.

Sana’s investors include ARCH Venture Partners, Flagship Pioneering, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Baillie Gifford, F-Prime Capital, Alaska Permanent Fund, the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, Bezos Expeditions, GV, Omega Funds, Altitude Life Science Ventures, and multiple unnamed institutional investors.

The 200-strong company, which was founded by former Juno CEO Hans Bishop, has remained quiet about what it has been doing until now. “The commitment from this group of long-term investors enables us to concentrate on making discoveries that overcome the most important challenges to making gene and cell therapies that improve the lives of a broad swath of patients,” said Harr. “I am proud of our progress to date in turning our technologies into potential therapies for serious diseases such as cancer, central nervous system diseases, heart disease and various genetic disorders.”

Sana said proceeds from the financing will be used to advance discovery and development within the company’s core platforms, including gene delivery, immunology, stem cell biology, and gene modification and control. Some approaches include in vivo delivery of genetic payloads to specific cells, ex vivo genetic modifications that hide allogeneic cells from a patient’s immune system, and applying stem cell biology to make differentiated cells to replace missing or damaged tissue.

Although Sana has yet to name the specific targets it will initially pursue, the financing will support IND-enabling and initial clinical studies for multiple therapeutic candidates, the build-out of manufacturing capabilities, and expansion of the company’s portfolio of enabling technologies. They will also support the continued addition of top talent to Sana’s team.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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