Biotech launches with $300m and ‘high precision’ cell therapies
Orca Bio announced last week that it had completed a Series D financing round, raising $192m (€170m) and emerging as a cell therapy-focused biotech.
The company revealed that it had close to $300m in the bank and a proprietary manufacturing platform. The latest financing round was ‘co-led’ by Lightspeed Venture Partners and an undisclosed investor.
Orca Bio’s method of manufacture sees donors’ blood sorted with ‘single-cell precision’ to create allogeneic cell therapy, which the biotech plans to develop against hematological and other cancers.
According to the company, the platform is high precision, ‘robust and scalable’, whilst being a closed system and good manufacturing practice (GMP) ready.
Alongside this, and with the biotech having been established in 2016, Orca Bio already boasts an advanced pipeline.
The biotech’s lead candidate is TRGFT-201, which is in Phase I/II clinical trials against certain blood cancers. In addition, Orca Bio also has OGFT-001 in the pipeline – a cell therapy currently in Phase I studies, again for patients with blood cancers.
Both treatments are being explored as an alternative to allogeneic bone marrow transplant.
Ivan Dimov, CEO of the biotech, explained its short-term plans: “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.”
Beyond blood cancers, Dimov noted that the company would look to develop treatments for genetic diseases and autoimmune disorders.
The technology being utilized by the company has been exclusively licensed from Stanford University.