Ncardia secures $60m to expand iPSC platform

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/CiydemImages
© GettyImages/CiydemImages

Related tags: iPSC, Cell therapy

Ncardia, a human-induced pluripotent stem cell-based (iPSC) technology company, has secured more than US$60m in capital through a strategic partnership with Kiniciti, a US based investor with a focus on the global cell and gene therapy ecosystem.

Kiniciti will now have a controlling stake in Ncardia, which has capabilities in bio-reactor-based scalable manufacturing of iPSC derived cells, assay development, disease modeling, and cell-based screening.

As a hands-on strategic investment partner, Kiniciti is set to “work closely​” with the Ncardia management team to expand its drug discovery offerings, and to establish a GMP cell therapy manufacturing business.

“We can enhance our technology platforms with Kiniciti’s capital and deep expertise to create a strong and successful global iPSC leader,”​ said Ncardia CEO, Stefan Braam.

It intends to that on the drug discovery side by building additional human cellular models with the capability to predict whether drugs are safe and efficacious much earlier in the development process. “In cell therapy, we’re going to help our customers with novel manufacturing technology that will create robust iPSC-based allogenic platforms in the immuno-oncology field,” ​he added.

Ncardia operates worldwide with facilities, offices, and staff throughout Europe and North America.

It says its platform can accommodate projects for various therapeutic modalities at any stage of development.

Driving down cost of cell therapies 

While comparatively new in the cell therapy space, human iPSC initiatives have garnered considerable interest due to the potential they hold for cell therapy development.

“iPSC technology gives scientists the ability to reprogram a given skin or blood cell into a stem cell, which in turn can be differentiated into any target cell type of interest. That cell then can be further enhanced with custom cell engineering and edits to match customers’ needs,” ​according to the developer.

Geoff Glass, CEO of Kiniciti, said key to the partnership was the goal of expanding access to, and driving down the cost of, cell therapies for patients in need. “The only way that happens is by building robust, industrialized and scalable platforms.”

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