ElevateBio, a new company focused on the development of startup cell and gene therapy companies, launched with a $150 million Series A financing round.
The new incubator, located in Cambridge, Mass., has a business model that is structured to “efficiently build single- and multi-product cell and gene therapy companies by providing scientific founders with centralized bench-to-bedside capabilities including world-class scientists, manufacturing facilities, drug development and commercialization expertise,” the company said in its announcement. ElevateBio’s BaseCamp is a single R&D, process development and cGMP manufacturing company designed to provide centralized expertise for all the companies that it helps launch, as well as potential strategic partners. This potential funding source should be welcome news for fledgling companies involved in the cell and gene therapy business, a business that requires significant capital. It is also an area that is being invested in heavily by companies like Novartis. The Swiss pharma giant is anticipating the potential regulatory approval of is spinal muscular atrophy gene therapy Zolgensma.
The Series A financing round was backed by the UBS Oncology Impact Fund managed by MPM Capital and F2 Ventures. Also participating in the round were EcoR1 Capital, Redmile Group and Samsara BioCapital.
David Hallal, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of ElevateBio, said the company is uniquely positioned to leverage its cell and gene therapy company-building capabilities in order to accelerate the development, manufacturing and delivery of the therapeutic products. ElevateBio has not yet announced which companies it will back, but plans to do so soon.
“A foundational element of our scientific, clinical and financial strategy is ElevateBio BaseCamp, which is our single R&D, process development and manufacturing company that supports our portfolio companies and a select group of strategic partners that will benefit from our expertise and facilities. We look forward to announcing our initial portfolio companies and strategic partners in the coming weeks.”
In addition to Hallal, the company’s leadership team includes Chief Scientific Officer Mitchell Finer and Vikas Sinha, the chief financial officer. ElevateBio’s board of directors includes a number of the company’s founding investors, such as Ansbert Gadicke, co-founder of MPM Capital, and Morana Jovan-Embiricos, managing partner of F2 Ventures. Oleg Nodelman, founder and managing director of EcoR1, serves as a board observer.
MPM’s Gadicke said he was thrilled that MPM was able to incubate ElevateBio, which is creating its own novel environment to accelerate the development of cell and gene therapies for patients.
“The track records of the ElevateBio leadership team in building iconic companies and creating value are unmatched, and we look forward to working with them as they execute on a new model in the field of cell and gene therapies,” Gadicke said in a brief statement.