Notch Therapeutics, Inc., a Vancouver, BC-based biotechnology company developing renewable, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cell therapies for cancer, closed an U.S. $85m Series A financing.
The round was led by an exclusively healthcare-focused investment fund, with participation by existing investors Allogene Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ALLO), Lumira Ventures, and CCRM Enterprises Holdings Ltd., an affiliate of Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM); along with new investors EcoR1 Capital, Casdin Capital, Samsara BioCapital, and Amplitude Ventures.
The company intends to use the funds for the continuing development of its portfolio of iPSC-derived T cell therapeutic product candidates and clinical readiness of the company’s proprietary Engineered Thymic Niche (ETN) platform, to expand its team to support future growth, including establishing operations in Seattle, in addition to the company’s existing operations in Vancouver and Toronto.
Led by David Main, President and Chief Executive Officer, Notch is applying its scalable Engineered Thymic Niche (ETN) technology platform to develop homogeneous and universally compatible, stem cell-derived cell therapies. To date, the company has assembled a scientific team and built a fully integrated, tightly controlled platform for generating and editing immune cells from clonal stem cells to enable development of a broad range of T cell therapeutics. Notch has an existing partnership with Allogene Therapeutics to apply its proprietary ETN platform to develop CAR-targeted, iPSC-derived, off-the-shelf T cell or natural killer (NK) cell therapies for hematologic cancer indications.
The technology was invented in the laboratories of Juan-Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker, Ph.D. at Sunnybrook Research Institute and Peter Zandstra, Ph.D., FRSC at the University of Toronto. The company was founded by these two institutions, in conjunction with MaRS Innovation (now Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners) and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM), which initially incubated the company.