Celularity, a spin-out company from global biopharmaceutical giant Celgene, broke news this morning that it has raised $250 million to support development of revolutionary placental-derived products, including T-cells that will be immune advantaged because of their derivation from the placenta. This is a massive accomplishment, because it dwarfs the $225 million in Series A financing raised by BlueRock Therapeutics in December 2016 that was previously a landmark accomplishment within the stem cell industry.
With the Celgene snagging Juno Therapeutics for a shocking $9 billion in January 2018 and Gilead picking up Kite Pharma for an astounding $11.9 billion in August 2017, Celularity is also joining the ranks of powerful immunotherapy companies that could be a target for merger or acquisition.
If that wasn’t enough, Celularity is looking to burst a major bottleneck in the industry by deriving T-cells from a single (allogeneic) cell line, potentially positioning itself to slash the price point for CAR-T treatments. Currently, Gilead and subsidiary Kite Pharma have a CAR-T cell therapy on the market (Yescarta) with a price point of $373,000 per patient and Novartis has a genetically modified autologous CAR-T therapy (Kymriah) priced at $475,000 per treatment.
At its core, Celularity is a biotechnology company that specializes in leveraging biologically active cell populations within the postpartum human placenta. Founded on the pioneering work of Robert Hariri, MD, PhD, in human placenta-derived cellular therapeutics and biomaterials, Celularity is uniquely positioned to harness the potential of most biocreative event on earth: human birth. [Read more…]