Umoja Biopharma, a Seattle-based biotechnology company pioneering an integrated in vivo immunotherapy platform, announced today, 18th November 2020, the successful completion of its US$ 53 million Series A funding round led by MPM Capital and Qiming Venture Partners USA.
The company’s set of innovations will re-engineer a patient’s immune system itself to attack and destroy both hematologic and solid organ-based tumours with a simple and cost-effective solution that enables widespread implementation.
Its platform incorporates three main components – the VivoVec delivery platform, RACR/CAR payload architecture, and the TumorTag platform. The VivoVec delivery platform works in vivo to produce a population of cancer-fighting cells, while the VivoCAR T cells can be controlled by the RACR/CAR control system using exogenously administered, FDA approved drugs. TumorTag molecules can be used together with the VivoCAR T cells to direct cancer-killing T cells towards the tumour and the critical supporting tumour cells.
What Umoja has to say
“Umoja has already made significant progress on its goal of delivering technologies that will address the limitations of current engineered immunotherapies,” said Andy Scharenberg, M.D., co-founder and CEO, Umoja.
“Our in vivo-based approach is scalable while also providing control, safety, and highly effective anti-tumour activity; our goal is to improve both access and outcomes,” he also added.
What MPM Capital has to say
“Umoja has a highly skilled and passionate team that brings together a unique complement of expertise within in vivo gene transfer, drug development and oncology. We believe that Umoja’s approach represents the future of cancer treatment,” said Luke Evnin, PhD, co-founder and Managing Director of MPM Capital.
What DCVC Bio has to say
“Umoja is working to create an entirely new approach to engineered immunotherapies that can pave the way for cancer therapies that are more accessible and effective for patients around the world,” said John Hamer, Managing Partner, DCVC Bio. “We look forward to continuing to work with the exceptionally skilled Umoja team to support the development of their integrated and scalable VivoVec and TumorTag technology.”
About Umoja Biopharma
Umoja Biopharma, Inc. is a pre-clinical stage biotechnology company located in Seattle, USA. The company was founded by Andy Scharenberg and Ryan Crisman, based on the pioneering work performed at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Purdue University.
About MPM capital
MPM Capital is a healthcare investment firm with more than two decades of experience in founding and investing in life-sciences companies that aim to translate scientific innovations into cures for major diseases. Headquartered in Boston, USA, the company was founded by Ansbert Gadicke and Luke Evnin.
About Qiming Venture Partners USA
Qiming Venture Partners was founded in 2006 and has more than US$ 5.5 billion in total assets under management. In January 2017, the firm launched its first US-based fund, focused on early-stage healthcare opportunities in the United States and Europe.
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