The $142m (€126.75m) financing round was led by a $75m equity investment from Novartis, as well as financing from several new and current investors including, Aisling Capital, Pentwater Capital, Perceptive Advisors, Malin Corp, Longitude Capital, Vivo Capital, Boxer Capital, among others.
According to a statement from Eric Ostertag, CEO of Poseida, Novartis is a “leader in the cell and gene therapy field” and thus the company welcomes the support as it enables the company to accelerate its gene therapy product candidates.
Additionally, Poseida’s board will see a Novartis employee added as director, which the company said will give Novartis a “ringside seat to our pipeline programs.”
In return, a spokesperson for Poseida told us, “The financing gives us the runway to move forward on our clinical plans for an investigational new drug (IND) for P-PSMA-101, for castrate resistant prostate cancer, and for P-BCMA-ALLO1, a fully allogenic [chimeric antigen receptor] CAR-T for relapsed multiple myeloma, over the coming 18-24 month – running concurrent clinical trials in more than one indication and further development programs in gene therapy.”
Poseida is currently working on CAR T-cell products candidates using its proprietary non-viral piggyBac DNA modification system.
According to the company, this system generates a high percentage of stem cell memory T cells (TSCM), which is the only self-renewing T cell.
The spokesperson told us, “TSCM cells are naturally long-lived, potentially lasting a lifetime. It is conceptually alike a pro-drug version of CAR-T, but it is a special prodrug that can potentially produce multiple waves of the more differentiated effector T cells that are the cell that actually kill cancer and are conceptually the drug version of CAR-T.”
The company is currently working on two additional product candidates: P-BCMA-101 for the treatment of relapsed multiple myeloma, which is in a Phase II trial, P-MUC1C-101 for solid tumor indications.