Refuge Biotechnologies, Inc., a Menlo Park, CA-based company leveraging gene engineering technologies to develop intelligent cell therapeutics programmed to make decisions inside of patients, closed a $25m Series B funding round.
The round was led by 3SBio and Sequoia China, with participation from new investors Danhua Capital (DHVC), Sangel Capital and Ocean Pine Healthcare Fund and existing investors 3E Bioventures, WuXi Healthcare Ventures, and ShangBay Capital. Concurrent with the financing, Zhenping Zhu, M.D., Ph.D., of 3SBio and Trency Gu, Ph.D., of Sequoia China, have joined the Refuge board of directors.
The company intends to use the funds for the advancement of cell therapies developed with its receptor-dCas platform.
Led by Bing C. Wang, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer, and newly appointed chief scientific officer Francesco Marincola, M.D., Refuge Biotech leverages gene engineering technologies to develop intelligent cell therapeutics programmed to make decisions inside of patients. Its receptor-dCas platform utilizes a mutated or dead Cas9 (dCas) as a targeting mechanism to enable precision CRISPR activation (CRISPRa) and CRISPR interference (CRISPRi).
As part of the investment, the lead investors will have an exclusive right to negotiate with Refuge on the right to the development and commercialization of cell therapies using Refuge’s platform in China. Concurrently, Refuge and 3SBio will also collaborate on research developing programmed cell therapeutics that can produce therapeutic proteins inside a patient’s body using the company’s platform technology.