Quell Therapeutics Ltd, a London, UK and Boston, MA-based leader in the development of engineered T-regulatory (Treg) cell therapies for serious medical conditions driven by the immune system, raised $156m in a Series B financing.
The round was co-led by Jeito Capital, Ridgeback Capital Investments, SV Health Investors and Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC with participation from founding investor Syncona. New investors include British Patient Capital through its Future Fund: Breakthrough program, Janus Henderson Investors, Monashee Investment Management, Point72 and funds managed by Tekla Capital Management LLC. In connection with the financing, Rachel Mears (Partner at Jeito Capital), Jeffrey Long-McGie (Managing Director at Ridgeback Capital) and Houman Ashrafian (Managing Partner at SV Health Investors) joined Quell’s Board of Directors.
The company intends to use the funds to:
- fund the LIBERATE Phase 1/2 clinical trial of QEL-001, a first-in-class antigen-specific multi-modular CAR-Treg cell therapy candidate designed to prevent organ rejection in liver transplant patients by inducing durable immune tolerance and eliminating the need for lifelong immunosuppression,
- advance its pipeline in core therapeutic areas of transplantation, neuroinflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases
- accelerate the development of its autologous multi-modular engineered Treg platform, and further develop an allogeneic CAR-Treg platform
Led by Iain McGill, Chief Executive Officer, Quell Therapeutics is the world leader in developing engineered T-regulatory (Treg) cell therapies that aim to harness, direct and optimize their immune suppressive properties to address serious medical conditions driven by the immune system.
Quell is harnessing the full power of Tregs, known as the “master modulators” of immune homeostasis, to create novel cell therapies designed to suppress overactive immune responses, drive long-term tolerance in the local immune environment and promote tissue repair. Its platform technology enables the company to design, engineer and manufacture at scale, therapeutic Treg products. Key elements of this technology include its proprietary Phenotype-Lock technology, which enables Quell to “lock” Tregs in an immunosuppressive phenotype that enhances their safety, stability, and efficacy; chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modules for tissue targeting; and additional modules to enhance disease-specific efficacy and safety.
Its lead candidate QEL-001 is being developed to induce operational tolerance following liver transplantation, with the potential to protect the post-transplant liver without the need for chronic immunosuppressive medications. Quell is also advancing additional programs in neuroinflammatory and autoimmune diseases.