ArsenalBio, a South San Francisco, Calif.-based programmable cell therapy company, raised $85m in Series A financing.
Investors included Westlake Village BioPartners, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI), Kleiner Perkins, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Foundation Investment Company, Euclidean Capital, and Osage University Partners.
Led by Ken Drazan, MD, founding Chief Executive Officer, ArsenalBio will integrate technologies such as CRISPR-based genome engineering, scaled and high throughput target identification, synthetic biology, and machine learning to advance a new paradigm to discover and develop immune cell therapies, initially for cancer.
ArsenalBio’s management team includes seasoned industry executives who bring immuno-oncology, cell therapy and genomic expertise:
– Ken Drazan, MD, who most recently served as President of GRAIL, Inc.
– Jane Grogan, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (formerly Principal Scientist, Head of Adaptive Tumor Immunity and Cell Therapy, Genentech)
– Michael Kalos, PhD, Executive Vice President, Head of Research & Development (formerly Vice President, Immuno-Oncology and Cell Therapies, Janssen Oncology)
– Tarjei Mikkelsen, PhD, Chief Technology Officer (formerly Vice President, Biology at 10x Genomics)
The board brings together industry leaders who have proven track records building successful companies:
– Ken Drazan, MD, Founding CEO, ArsenalBio
– Beth Seidenberg, MD, Managing Director, Westlake Village BioPartners
– Brook Byers, Founding Partner, Kleiner Perkins
– Sean Parker, Chairman and Founder, PICI
– Alexander Marson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology/Immunology, UCSF and PICI Investigator
The company’s scientific founders comprise a bi-coastal, multi-disciplinary consortium of leading academic researchers:
– Bradley Bernstein, MD, PhD, Professor of Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital / Broad Institute
– W. Nicholas Haining, BM BCh, Vice President, Discovery Oncology at Merck Research Laboratories, previously Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
– Alexander Marson, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Immunology, UCSF and PICI Investigator
– Theodore Roth, PhD, UCSF School of Medicine, ArsenalBio’s founding interim Chief Scientific Officer
– Kole Roybal, PhD, Assistant Professor of Immunology, UCSF and PICI Investigator
– E. John Wherry, PhD, Chairman and Distinguished Presidential Professor of Systems Immunology, UPenn and PICI Investigator, Chair Arsenal Science Advisory Board.