Ori Biotech raises over $100m, funds to support launch of CGT manufacturing platform

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Andrew Brookes
© GettyImages/Andrew Brookes

Related tags cell and gene therapy

Ori Biotech Ltd, an innovator in the cell and gene therapy (CGT) manufacturing sphere, has secured over US$100m in an oversubscribed Series B funding round.

The round was led by Novalis LifeSciences with Puhua Capital and Chimera Abu Dhabi coming in as new investors.

Marijn E Dekkers, chairman of Novalis, said: “Ori Biotech is the first investment out of our new fund, Novalis LifeSciences Investments II. Ori’s digital manufacturing platform will play a critical role in improving patient access to cell therapies and opens new doors to commercial success for therapy developers.”

Ori, which was founded in 2015, closed a $30m Series A round​ in October 2020; it says investors from that exercise, namely Amadeus Capital Partners, Delin Ventures, Northpond Ventures and Octopus Ventures, have continued to support it with additional funding.

The London and New Jersey based company reported that it will use the latest funds to further expand key personnel across all functions, in order to rapidly transition through pre-commercialization to the launch of its innovative CGT manufacturing platform.

The company is also launching its Lightspeed Early Access Program (LEAP), allowing “select partners”​ to gain pre-launch access to the Ori platform in 2022.

"LEAP participants will be able to do an early assessment of the biological, engineering and digital capabilities of the Ori platform pre-launch and engage with our team of experts to optimize the platform for use in their environments with their processes.  LEAP is the next logical progression from the early work Ori has been doing with five partners, like Achilles Therapeutics and Minaris Regenerative Medicine, since May 2020."

Increased throughput, decreased variability

Ori’s platform has been designed specifically to address “the unique requirements​” of a new generation of personalized cell and gene therapies.

“Therapies that start with patient or donor material and require processing at a manufacturing facility are a new challenge for the biotech industry. Currently, these processes are highly manual, creating very high costs and variability. The Ori platform increases throughput, decreases variability and costs so that more patients can get access to these life-saving treatments,”​ Ori told BioPharma-Reporter in October 2020 following the close of its Series A round.

Tie-up with blockchain technology provider 

In May last year, we reported on Ori and ATMPS were combining their blockchain and CGT technologies​ to streamline production of advanced therapies

The combination of the two platforms was aimed at providing improved product tracking, scheduling as well as live monitoring of the manufacturing status across the entire CGT supply chain, said the parties. The integration would allow the secure sharing of relevant process data with therapy developers, contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs) and even clinicians or patients in real-time.

Jason Foster, CEO of Ori Biotech told us then: "Right now, timeline visibility usually stops at the front door of the manufacturing facility and that two to three-week part of the manufacturing process becomes a black box. Through data integration, greater visibility into the process should allow for more frequent or even real-time progress updates/estimated time of arrival for therapy developers as well as, perhaps, clinical centers and patients. This should help with scheduling and logistics to help shorten overall vein-to-vein times."

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