ViaCyte, Inc., a San Diego, CA-based regenerative medicine company, closed an approximately $27m in Series D financing.
Backers included Bain Capital Life Sciences, TPG Capital, RA Capital Management, Sanderling Ventures, and several individuals. In conjunction with the funding, Ian F. Smith, who was appointed to the company’s Board of Directors in July 2019, joined as Executive Chairperson.
The company intends to use the funds to further advance its multi-product candidate approach.
Led by Paul Laikind, Ph.D., CEO and President, ViaCyte is a regenerative medicine company developing novel cell replacement therapies as potential long-term diabetes treatments to achieve glucose control targets and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and diabetes-related complications. Its product candidates are based on directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into PEC-01 pancreatic islet progenitor cells, which are then implanted in durable and retrievable cell delivery devices. To accelerate and expand its development efforts, ViaCyte has established collaborative partnerships with companies including CRISPR Therapeutics and W.L. Gore & Associates.
The company’s intellectual property portfolio includes hundreds of issued patents and pending applications worldwide. The PEC-Direct product candidate, currently being evaluated in the clinic, delivers ViaCyte’s PEC-01 cells (pancreatic islet progenitor cells) in a non-immunoprotective device and is being developed for type 1 diabetes patients who have hypoglycemia unawareness, extreme glycemic lability, and/or recurrent severe hypoglycemic episodes. The PEC-Encap (also known as VC-01) product candidate, also undergoing clinical evaluation, delivers the same pancreatic islet progenitor cells but in an immunoprotective device. PEC-Encap is being developed for all patients with type 1 diabetes.
In collaboration with CRISPR Therapeutics, ViaCyte is developing immune-evasive stem cell lines from its proprietary CyT49 cell line. These immune-evasive stem cell lines, which are being used in the PEC-QT program, have the potential to further broaden the availability of cell therapy for all patients with insulin-requiring diabetes, type 1 and type 2. In addition, an immune evasive cell line has the potential to be used to produce any cell in the body, thus enabling many other potential indications.