Cambridge, Massachusetts-based gene therapy venture ElevateBio raised a staggering $525 million Series C financing to continue its pursuit of disruptive medicinal models addressing some of the most pressing challenges in the field of cell and gene therapy. Developing what the company positions as an unprecedented suite of next generation-enabling technologies, from gene editing and induced pluripotent stem cells to protein, viral and cellular engineering, the company pushes ahead in its bid to change the way the field advances cell and gene therapies. The company’s “Elevate Inside” approach purports to “democratize” access to its technology platform, leveraging ElevateBio BaseCamp (a technology-enabled process and development and GCMP manufacturing capability) to advance transformative therapies across the entire industry. Now with sizable investment the company plans on developing and expanding its technology platforms, build upon its network of process development and GMP manufacturing capacity, and advance an increasing number of industry partnerships, while also focusing on the development of proprietary cell and gene therapies.
What investors chipped in?
Matrix Capital Management led the Series C financing alongside additional new investors SoftBank Vision Fund 2* and Fidelity Management and Research Company who 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 a large insurance company.
New Board Members
As part of the financing, two new members, Karan Takhar, Senior Managing Director at Matrix Capital Management and Deep Nishar, Senior Managing Partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers, will join ElevateBio’s Board of Directors.
- Mr. Takhar leads and oversees key portfolio investments at Matrix Capital. He is a member of the Board of Directors at Encoded Therapeutics, Palleon Pharmaceuticals, and Zentalis Pharmaceuticals. Before joining Matrix, Mr. Takhar spent time working for High Vista Strategies, Goldman Sachs Investment Strategies, and Moody’s Investor Service.
- Mr. Nishar leads life sciences, frontier tech, and enterprise software investments at SoftBank Investment Advisers. He has more than 20 years of experience in helping build and grow businesses, and sits on the board of directors of Encoded Therapeutics, Relay Therapeutics, Seer and Vir Bio, amongst other companies. Prior to joining SoftBank, Mr. Nishar served as Senior Vice President of Products and User Experience at LinkedIn.
“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,” said David Hallal, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ElevateBio. “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. We are poised to power the field today and for many decades to come and are thrilled to welcome Matrix Capital Management, SoftBank, and Fidelity to our stellar group of existing investors.”
Combine Innovation, Process Transformation & GCP Manufacturing
Mitchell Finer, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ElevateBio, President of ElevateBio BaseCamp, and Chief Executive Officer of LifeEDIT Therapeutics continued by saying, “In my nearly 35 years of driving cell and gene therapy innovation across a range of technologies and therapeutics, I have seen much progress toward our ambition to serve patients with intractable diseases – yet innovation is often delayed by technology limitations and the lack of manufacturing robustness. 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.”
There are nearly a thousand cell and gene therapies in development targeting a broad range of diseases, yet as of February 2020, only nine cell or gene therapies were approved in the U.S. Despite the small number of approved therapies, the global cell and gene therapy market is expected to reach nearly $50 billion by 2027. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) predicts that by 2025, they will be approving 10 to 20 cell and gene therapy products a year based on an assessment of the current pipeline and the clinical success rates of these products. Scaling production from a few million cells in the lab to manufacturing the billions of cells needed to treat patients is uniquely complex. While innovation has greatly advanced in the discovery and development of cell and gene therapies, the approach to manufacturing these novel medicines has largely relied on traditional modes of development or a patchwork of technologies and providers, hampering and slowing their impact on human health.
ElevateBio was built to bring the insights, skills, and technological know-how needed to navigate these complex challenges in a repeated fashion to advance transformative cell and gene therapies to patients whether they are ElevateBio’s own therapeutics or the innovative therapies of its partners.
ElevateBio is a cell and gene therapy technology company built to power the development of transformative cell and gene therapies today and for many decades to come. The company has assembled industry-leading talent, built world-class facilities, and integrated diverse technology platforms necessary for rapid innovation and commercialization of cell, gene, and regenerative therapies. The company has built an initial technology stack, including gene editing, induced pluripotent stem cells, and protein, viral, and cellular engineering. At the center of the business model is ElevateBio BaseCamp, a centralized R&D and manufacturing company that offers research and development (R&D), process development (PD), and Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) manufacturing capabilities. The company is focused on increasing long-term collaborations with industry partners while also continuing to develop its own highly innovative cell and gene therapies. ElevateBio’s team of scientists, drug developers, and company builders are redefining what it means to be a technology company in the world of drug development, blurring the line between technology and healthcare.
ElevateBio is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass, with ElevateBio BaseCamp located in Waltham, Mass.