Gracell Biotechnologies Inc., a Shangai, China-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, secured $100m in Series C funding.
The round is led by Wellington Management Company, OrbiMed and Morningside Ventures, and joined by new investor Vivo Capital. Existing investors Temasek Holdings, Lilly Asia Ventures, OrbiMed and King Star Med LP are also participating.
Proceeds from the round will be used to fund internal research and development and further advance current clinical programs.
Led by Dr. William Wei Cao, founder, Chairman, and CEO, Gracell has developed two platforms—FasTCAR and TruUCAR. With FasTCAR, the company is able to deliver younger, less exhausted T cells for autologous cell therapies with greater potency and next-day manufacturing (22 to 36 hours). With TruUCAR, Gracell is able to derive T cells from non-HLA-matched healthy donors to generate allogeneic CAR-T cell therapies that are readily available off-the-shelf at lower cost for a broad patient base.
Leveraging its FasTCAR and TruUCAR platforms, the company is advancing a pipeline of autologous and allogeneic cell therapy candidates with the potential to treat both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Currently, its lead FasTCAR autologous product candidate, GC012F, is being studied in an ongoing investigator-initiated Phase 1 trial in China for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma (r/r MM). Its lead TruUCAR allogeneic product candidate, GC027, is being studied in an ongoing investigator-initiated Phase 1 trial in China for the treatment of relapsed or refractory T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (r/r T-ALL).