Cellular Dynamics International Closes on a $40.6M Series B Private Equity Round

Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI), a Madison, WI-based developer and marketer of next-generation stem cell technologies for drug development and personalized medicine applications, has closed on a $40.6m Series B private equity round.
The round was led by Tactics II Stem Cell Ventures, which also led CDI’s prior capital raises, with participation from Sam Zell’s Equity Group Investments, L.L.C., and Sixth Floor Investors LP.
The company, which has raised a total of $70m since 2004, will use these new funds to expand its commercial organization to meet the growing demand for these iPSC-based products.
In particular, the financing enables the company to increase production capacity for its iCell(TM) Cardiomyocytes, human heart cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and to launch additional human tissue cell products for biomedical and pharmaceutical drug development and safety research.
Commenting on the round, Robert Palay, the company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, was quoted as saying: “We have strong demand from pharmaceutical companies for live heart cells derived from iPSCs because the high purity and quality of our cells result in more accurate preclinical drug testing.
“Prior to our product introduction, new drugs were tested primarily on either human tissue cells from cadavers, cells derived from tumors, or animal cells, none of which accurately mirror what happens in a live human body.
“We believe access to iCell Cardiomyocytes will help speed the discovery of safer and more effective medicines”, he added.
CDI will also apply the new funding toward expansion of its product lines beyond the current iCell Cardiomyocytes product offering.
As stated by Chris Parker, CDI’s Chief Commercial Officer, “We intend to launch liver, nerve, and blood vessel cell products over the next 18 months”.
In conjunction with the funding, Leonard Loventhal, an officer of Sixth Floor Investors, joins the company’s board of directors.


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