Series B financing co-led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Cormorant Asset Management
Financing accelerates development of Umoja’s pipeline of in vivo engineered CAR T cell immunotherapies and internal manufacturing capabilities
Seattle, Wash., June 15, 2021 – Umoja Biopharma, an oncology company leveraging its proprietary integrated technologies to reprogram immune cells in vivo to create next-generation immunotherapies for the treatment of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies, today announced the completion of an oversubscribed $210 million Series B financing. The proceeds will enable Umoja to continue development of its integrated technologies, advance its product candidates based on CAR T-cell adapter-mediated tumor-targeting (TumorTag) and the in vivo modification of immune cells (VivoVec and RACR/CAR) into clinical development, and build internal manufacturing capabilities to support preclinical and clinical development of its pipeline programs.
The financing was co-led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Cormorant Asset Management with participation from new investors, including RTW Investments, LP; Temasek; Presight Capital (the international venture arm of Christian Angermayer’s Apeiron Investment Group); Caas Capital; and an investment fund associated with SVB Leerink. They were joined by all the company’s existing investors: MPM Capital, DCVC Bio, Qiming Venture Partners USA, Casdin Capital, Emerson Collective Investments, and Alexandria Venture Investments.
“Umoja has made tremendous strides in the past year, including advancing our preclinical programs, expanding manufacturing capabilities, and bringing on key hires to prepare for our next phase of development and growth,” said Andrew Scharenberg, M.D., co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Umoja Biopharma. “We are excited to continue this momentum, with ongoing efforts to further validate our in vivo-based approach for maximum patient impact in both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.”
The Series B funding will be used in part to advance Umoja’s two lead programs into the clinic: TumorTag UB-TT170 for folate receptor-expressing solid tumors, and VivoVec UB-VV100 for CD19+ hematological cancers.
“Umoja’s fully integrated approach is capable of engineering a patient’s own immune system to attack and destroy tumors with a simplicity and cost that enables widespread implementation,” said Ryan Crisman, Ph.D., co-founder and Chief Technical Officer. “We believe our team is well positioned to deliver on the next wave of immuno-oncology therapies, providing transformative benefits as well as improving access to all patients.”
Umoja will continue adding to its team to support the company’s rapid growth, building upon the recently announced leadership appointments of Nushmia Khokhar, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer, Irena Melnikova, Ph.D., as Chief Financial Officer, and David Fontana, Ph.D., as Chief Business and Strategy Officer, while also expanding its footprint to include a manufacturing operations site in Boulder, Colo.
About Umoja Biopharma
Umoja Biopharma, Inc. is a preclinical stage company advancing an entirely new approach to immunotherapy designed to retool a patient’s immune system in vivo. Founded based on pioneering work performed at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Purdue University, Umoja’s novel approach is powered by integrated cellular immunotherapy technologies comprising the VivoVec in vivo delivery platform, the RACR/CAR in vivo cell expansion/control platform and the TumorTag targeting platform. Designed from the ground up to work together, these platforms are being developed to create and harness a powerful immune response in the body to directly, safely and controllably attack cancer. Umoja believes that its approach can provide broader access to the most advanced immunotherapies and enable more patients to live better, fuller lives. To learn more, visit http://umoja-biopharma.com/.
Verge Scientific Communications