Caribou Biosciences announced the successful completion of an oversubscribed $115 million Series C financing, co-led by new premier healthcare investors Farallon Capital Management, PFM Health Sciences, and Ridgeback Capital Investments. Additional new investors include AbbVie Ventures, Adage Capital Partners LP, Avego Bioscience Capital, Avidity Partners, Invus, Janus Henderson Investors, LifeSci Venture Partners, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Therapy Acceleration Program® (LLS TAP), Monashee Investment Management, LLC, Point72, and funds managed by Tekla Capital Management LLC. Existing investors participating in the round included Heritage Medical Systems, Maverick Ventures, and Pontifax Global Food and Agriculture Technology Fund (Pontifax AgTech). The proceeds will be used to advance Caribou’s pipeline of wholly-owned allogeneic immune cell therapies for oncology, as well as its next-generation CRISPR technology platform.
“We are excited to have the support of such an impressive group of new investors and proud of the continued commitment from current investors,” Rachel Haurwitz, Ph.D., Caribou’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This funding will help fuel our continued clinical advancement and support our goal of bringing genome-edited immune cell therapies to patients as rapidly as possible.”
Caribou’s CRISPR technology platform has fueled a pipeline of allogeneic cell therapies for oncology with best-in-class potential including enhanced persistence of its off-the-shelf cell therapies that is expected to drive the clinical durability of effect in multiple malignancies.
“Caribou has successfully leveraged its next-generation CRISPR technology platform to create a promising clinical-stage therapeutic and a pipeline of pre-clinical allogeneic CAR-T and CAR-NK cell therapies that are potentially transformative for patients with unmet medical needs,” said Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., co-founder of Caribou. “Given its pioneering and selective approach in the field, Caribou’s CRISPR technology platform should continue to serve as a powerful engine for therapeutic development.”
The company’s lead allogeneic CAR-T cell program, CB-010, targets CD19. It is the first clinical-stage allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy in which PD-1 was genetically disrupted in the CAR-T genome, leading to more durable anti-tumor activity in pre-clinical studies. CB-010 is being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial for patients with relapsed/refractory B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Caribou is also developing two additional allogeneic CAR-T cell therapies, CB-011 and CB-012. CB-011 targets BCMA for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and is immunologically cloaked for enhanced persistence. CB-012 targets CD371 and is being researched for the treatment of relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia. In addition, Caribou is developing iPSC-derived allogeneic natural killer (NK) cell therapies for solid tumor indications.
In February, Caribou announced a collaboration and license agreement with AbbVie for the research and development of two additional, unnamed CAR-T cell therapies.