Notch Therapeutics Closes $85 Million Series A Financing to Develop Pipeline of Renewable Stem Cell-Derived Cancer Immunotherapies
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, February 10, 2021— Notch Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing renewable, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cell therapies for cancer, announced today the closing of an oversubscribed U.S. $85 million Series A financing. The financing was led by an exclusively healthcare-focused investment fund, with participation by existing investors Allogene Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALLO), Lumira Ventures, and CCRM Enterprises Holdings Ltd., an affiliate of Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM); along with new investors EcoR1 Capital, a undisclosed leading global investment firm, Casdin Capital, Samsara BioCapital, and Amplitude Ventures. Proceeds from the financing will support the continuing development of Notch’s portfolio of iPSC-derived T cell therapeutic product candidates and clinical readiness of the company’s proprietary Engineered Thymic Niche (ETN) platform. The financing will also enable Notch to expand its team to support the company’s future growth, including establishing operations in Seattle, in addition to the company’s existing operations in Vancouver and Toronto.
“We are gratified to have the confidence of this exceptional group of investors and have them share in our vision that our platform can be game-changing for cell therapies by easing cell manufacturing and broadening their clinical and commercial potential,” said David Main, President and Chief Executive Officer of Notch. “The level of interest in this financing round enabled us to far exceed our original capital-raising goals. With this support, Notch is well positioned to support our partners and advance development of our initial cell therapy products for patients with cancer.”
Notch is applying its scalable Engineered Thymic Niche (ETN) technology platform to develop homogeneous and universally compatible, stem cell-derived cell therapies. To date, Notch has assembled a world-class scientific team and built a fully integrated, tightly controlled platform for generating and editing immune cells from clonal stem cells to enable development of a broad range of T cell therapeutics. Notch has an existing partnership with Allogene Therapeutics to apply Notch’s proprietary ETN platform to develop CAR-targeted, iPSC-derived, off-the-shelf T cell or natural killer (NK) cell therapies for hematologic cancer indications.
“We have great confidence in Notch’s high-caliber management team and the rigorous science underlying its research programs,” said David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder of Allogene and a member of the Notch Board of Directors. “We are impressed by the company’s innovation and accomplishments and pleased to continue our support of Notch as the company advances the development of a new generation of cell therapies for cancer and other immune disorders.”
About Notch Therapeutics (www.notchtx.com)
Notch is developing a pipeline of cellular immunotherapies originating from pluripotent stem cells that are specifically engineered to address the underlying biology of complex disease systems. The company has unlocked the ability for large-quantity production of T cells and other cells from any source of stem cells to bring best-in-class cell therapies for cancer and other immune disorders to thousands of patients. The core of the Notch platform is the Engineered Thymic Niche (ETN), which enables precision control of cell fate during the differentiation and expansion of stem cells in suspension bioreactors without the need for feeder cells or serum. The ETN has the potential to generate immunotherapies with decreased variability, increased potency, and engineered improvements. The technology was invented in the laboratories of Juan-Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker, Ph.D. at Sunnybrook Research Institute and Peter Zandstra, Ph.D., FRSC at the University of Toronto. Notch was founded by these two institutions, in conjunction with MaRS Innovation (now Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners) and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), which initially incubated the company.