Cell and gene therapy company ElevateBio said today it completed a $525 million Series C financing, with plans to use the proceeds toward developing and expanding its technology platforms, growing its network of process development and GMP manufacturing capacity, advancing industry partnerships, and continuing to develop candidates through its portfolio of companies.
Based in Cambridge, MA, ElevateBio is a creator and operator of a portfolio of companies across multiple cell and gene therapy and regenerative medicine technology platforms—including gene editing, induced pluripotent stem cells, and protein, viral, and cellular engineering.
ElevateBio has built those companies through a centralized innovation and manufacturing center it calls BaseCamp, designed to provide fully integrated capabilities—part of the company’s “ElevateInside” approach, which encompasses basic and transitional research, process development, clinical development, cGMP manufacturing, and regulatory affairs.
“ElevateBio has created the first fully-integrated technology company exclusively focused on cell and gene therapy, disrupting the current paradigm by providing end-to-end capabilities that enable partners a strategic advantage in the market and, ultimately, meet the urgent need of patients and families suffering with life-threatening and devastating diseases,” ElevateBio chairman and CEO David Hallal said in a statement.
Through one of the company’s strategic partnerships, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has gained preferred access to ElevateBio’s strategic partnership gives MGH preferred access to ElevateBio’s BaseCamp research, process development, and manufacturing facility. The partners have agreed to will work together in identifying cell and gene technologies and creating therapeutics companies, with ElevateBio supporting MGH’s cell and gene therapy research programs.
Another partner, Cambridge-based immunotherapy company TCR2 Therapeutics, established a manufacturing partnership with ElevateBio in November to leverage the technical capabilities at BaseCamp toward developing a pipeline of novel T cell therapies for patients with cancer.
Pivotal-phase T cell therapy
Five pipeline candidates incorporating ElevateBio’s expertise have been developed through AlloVir, whose pipeline of five candidates is led by Viralym-M (ALVR105), a multi-virus specific T cell therapy (VST) whose program to treat virus-associated hemorrhagic cystitis is in a pivotal Phase III trial.
Viralym-M also targets BK virus, cytomegalovirus (CMV), adenovirus (AdV), Epstein-Barr Virus, and Human Herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), and according to the company has the potential to transform care for transplant recipients.
Also in AlloVir’s pipeline:
- ALVR106, consisting of multi-VSTs targeting Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Influenza, Parainfluenza Virus (PIV), and Human Metapneumovirus (hMPV). In December, the FDA cleared AlloVir’s IND application for ALVR106, with a Phase Ib/II trial in allogeneic and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) patients set to start this year.
- ALVR109, a single-VST targeting SARS-CoV-2 in a proof-of concept Phase Ib/II trial.
- ALVR107, a preclinical single-VST targeting hepatitis B.
- ALVR108, a preclinical single-VST targeting Human Herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8).
Another ElevateBio portfolio company, HighPassBio, is developing HA-1 TCR, a Phase I engineered T cell receptor (TCR) T cell therapy targeting HA-1 expressing tumors designed to manage post-hematopoietic stem cell transplant leukemic relapse. HighPassBiop was established in 2019 to commercialize T cell immunotherapies based on technology developed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
“While we see remarkable breakthroughs in the earliest days of the cell and gene therapy revolution, accelerating innovation requires next-generation technology, analytics, and production capabilities to deliver therapies better, faster, and cheaper,” Hallal added. “We are poised to power the field today and for many decades to come.”
Re-envisioning cell, gene therapies
Mitchell Finer, PhD, chief scientific officer of ElevateBio, president of ElevateBio BaseCamp added: “At ElevateBio, we can realize the full potential of cell and gene therapies, by re-envisioning the way these products are made, breaking down silos, leveraging powerful enabling technologies, and changing the mindset from simple manufacturing scale-up to conducting large scale biology.
“This approach will drive transformative cell, gene, and regenerative therapies today and tomorrow that have the potential to enable access for patients around the globe,” added Finer, who is also CEO of LifeEDIT Therapeutics, a Research Triangle Park, NC, developer of gene edited therapeutics that along with AgBiome joined ElevateBio’s portfolio in November. LifeEdit says it has built one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of novel RNA-guided nucleases and base editors, derived from AgBiome’s proprietary microbial library.
ElevateBio completed a $150 million Series A financing in May 2019 upon launch of the company, and garnered $170 million in Series B financing in March 2020, to which an additional $23 million was added through a second close, bringing the Series B total to $193 million.
Matrix Capital Management led the Series C financing with two additional new investors, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Fidelity Management & Research Company. They joined ElevateBio’s existing investors: MPM Capital, F2 Ventures, Redmile Group, EcoR1 Capital,
Samsara BioCapital, The Invus Group, Emerson Collective, Surveyor Capital (A Citadel company), EDBI, and Vertex Ventures, iTochu, and an unidentified “large” insurance company.
As part of the financing, two new directors will join ElevateBio’s board: Karan Takhar, senior managing director at Matrix Capital Management; and Deep Nishar, senior managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.
“ElevateBio’s business model maximizes the potential to capitalize on the convergence of technology and healthcare, creating an entirely new category in cell and gene therapy,” Takhar added.