Age-fighting startup Celularity has raised $250 million in fresh cash to develop its quickly maturing stem cell platform to treat cancer, autoimmune disorders, and ultimately to delay the aging process.
Celularity is a spinout from Celgene, a global biopharmaceutical company creating gene therapies. Diamandis teamed up with Dr. Robert Hariri, the founder of Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, to create Celularity in the hopes of using stem cells found in the human placenta to quickly regenerate tissue and organs needed to treat cancer and other diseases. The idea is these types of cells can do a better job of helping us live longer, fuller, healthier lives.
Celularity is chock full of big names in both biotech and tech, with a board that includes former Apple CEO John Sculley, GV (formerly Google Ventures) founder and Section 32 creator Bill Maris, and ex-FDA commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach.
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Celularity that launched last summer with 200 issued and pending patents, preclinical and clinical assets, and commercial products acquired from Celgene, Sorrento, United Therapeutics, and Human Longevity.
“Celularity was formed as a new biotechnology model designed to apply the necessary expertise to harness our placenta discovery platform across a range of unmet medical needs,” Hariri said in a statement at the time.
One application for the company’s business has biotech particularly intrigued. The company says it plans to build CAR-T therapies using placental cells, not a patient’s own T-cells, which, in theory, will create standardized product that won’t cause the patient’s immune system to flare in protest. Celularity will ask the FDA to start trials on a CAR-T targeting a protein called CD38, and says it’s licensed 50 other potential CAR-T constructs from Sorrento.
The company is also working on treatments for wound healing and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as cell therapy candidates.