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August 12, 2021

GentiBio raises $157m to develop Treg therapies for autoimmune diseases

The proceeds will be used to advance the company’s Treg therapy for type 1 diabetes into clinical trials.

GentiBio has raised $157m in a Series A funding round led by Matrix Capital Management to progress its new pipeline of engineered regulatory T cell (Treg) treatments in immunology.

Avidity Partners, JDRF T1D Fund, OrbiMed, RA Capital Management, Novartis Venture Fund and Seattle Children’s Research Institute participated in the financing round.

GentiBio was founded in August last year with $20m seed funding from OrbiMed, Novartis Venture Fund and RA Capital.

The biotherapeutics company’s platform is intended to functionally treat autoimmune, alloimmune, autoinflammatory and allergic conditions.

This platform leverages new technologies that accurately redirect stable, potent engineered Tregs to tissues damaged due to abnormal immune responses.

Using the platform, GentiBio can make various tuneable Treg phenotypes from rich autologous and allogeneic cell sources that can be produced at scale.

Including the latest funding, the company has so far raised $177m since its launch to overcome technical challenges that have reduced the therapeutic Tregs’ potential.

GentiBio plans to use the Series A funding proceeds to progress its potential functional cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D) to clinical trials along with various other pipeline programmes in chronic autoimmunity and autoinflammation.

At present, the company is choosing its clinical candidate for T1D and will commence investigational new drug (IND)-enabling trials before this year-end.

GentiBio president and CEO Adel Nada said: “GentiBio engineered Tregs created from abundant autologous and allogeneic T cell sources have the potential to overcome scalability and phenotypic inconsistency issues that are intrinsic to Tregs sorted from peripheral blood.

“With the Series A financing, we are focused on advancing our programmes with a uniquely scalable manufacturing process that produces stable and disease-specific engineered Tregs that are also tunable once infused in patients.”

As part of the funding, Andy Tran from Matrix Capital will join GentiBio’s board of directors.

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