Century Therapeutics, a Philadelphia, PA-based company developing allogeneic or off-the-shelf immune cell therapies for cancer, emerged from stealth with USD$250m in financing.
– Leaps by Bayer,
– Versant Ventures and
– Fujifilm Cellular Dynamics Inc. (FCDI).
The proceeds will enable the company to advance multiple programs into the clinic for hematologic and solid malignancies.
Century has built its foundational technology based on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that have unlimited self-renewing capacity. This enables multiple rounds of cellular engineering to produce master cell banks of modified cells that can be expanded and differentiated into immune effector cells to supply vast amounts of allogeneic, homogeneous therapeutic products.
Founded by Versant in 2018 and led by Lalo Flores, Ph.D., CEO, Century formed a strategic partnership with FCDI, a subsidiary of Fujifilm Corporation, to develop iPSC-derived immune effector cells for cancer.
FCDI’s vertically integrated iPSC platform has been optimized over the last 15 years to include the foremost reprograming technology that uses genome integration-free methods to generate GMP grade iPSC lines.
The company also has exclusive access to FCDI’s immune effector cell differentiation protocols and intellectual property to manufacture GMP-grade immune effector cells at commercial scale.
Under the terms of the iPSC platform license agreement, FCDI will serve as the primary manufacturer of Century’s cellular products.
In addition to Dr. Flores, Century has an experienced team in cell therapy research and development that includes:
– Hyam Levitsky, MD, President of Research and Development;
– Luis Borges, PhD., Chief Scientific Officer; and
– Adrienne Farid, PhD., Chief Development Officer.
Scientific co-founders include Marcela Maus, MD, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Cellular Immunotherapy Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Hiro Nakauchi, MD, Ph.D., professor of genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine.