A new firm aims to take cell and gene therapy projects from scientific researchers and turn them into new companies.
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based ElevateBio announced its launch Monday with $150 million in Series A funding. The round was led by the UBS Oncology Impact Fund, which MPM Capital and F2 Ventures manage, along with EcoR1 Capital, Redmile Group and Samsara BioCapital. The company plans to form partnerships with academic researchers, medical centers and entrepreneurs and then launch new cell and gene therapy companies, including those with single product and with multiple products. ElevateBio will provide founders with scientists, manufacturing facilities and expertise in drug development and commercialization.
“ElevateBio is uniquely structured to leverage our cell and gene therapy company-building capabilities to accelerate the development, manufacturing and delivery of highly innovative therapies across a growing number of portfolio companies,” CEO David Hallal said in a statement. Hallal said an important element is the company’s research and development, process development and manufacturing center, dubbed the BaseCamp. ElevateBio plans to announce its initial portfolio companies and partners in the coming weeks, he said.
If the company’s business model sounds familiar, it’s because it is.
Palo Alto, California-based BridgeBio was launched in 2015, using a similar business model, which was developed in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. BridgeBio, also finds product candidates, sourced from academic and research institutions, and then launches subsidiary companies to develop them, with a particular focus on genetically targeted drugs for hereditary diseases and cancers. Companies in BridgeBio’s portfolio include QED Therapeutics, which has a drug targeting FGFR2 fusions in Phase II development for the bile duct cancer cholangiocarcinoma. Another firm operating under BridgeBio is Eidos Therapeutics, which is developing a drug for transthyretin amyloidosis cardiomyopathy, a rare and fatal genetic cardiovascular disease. While still a BridgeBio portfolio company, Eidos also trades publicly on the Nasdaq.
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