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17 November 2016

Investors transplant $48.5m into Magenta series A

Biotechnology developer Magenta Therapeutics, which exploits Harvard research, has launched with series A funding provided by investors including Alphabet.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

Magenta Therapeutics, a US-based stem cell biotechnology developer that has licensed research conducted at Harvard University, emerged yesterday with $48.5m in series A funding co-led by Third Rock Venture and Atlas Venture.

The round further included GV, the early-stage investment division of conglomerate Alphabet, holding firm Access Industries and Partners Innovation Fund.

Magenta Therapeutics had been incubated by Third Rock and Atlas since 2014 and, through a licence agreement with Harvard, is commercialising stem cell technologies developed at the institution as well as Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital.

The company is focused on developing treatments for autoimmune diseases, genetic blood disorders and cancer by using stem cell transplants that strengthen the body’s immune and blood systems.

The emergence of Magenta marks the first time that a company has taken an end-to-end approach to stem cell transplants from patient preparation and stem cell harvesting to engrafting.

Magenta’s co-founders include a wide range of stem cell researchers from institutions such as Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Regenerative Medicine, Washington University St Louis’ School of Medicine, Stanford University’s Clinical Bone Marrow Transplantation Laboratory and Basel University’s Basel Stem Cell Network.

David Scadden, chief scientific advisor, chair of the scientific advisory board and co-founder of Magenta Therapeutics, said: “Stem cell transplants are curative. With new gene therapy and gene editing technologies and emerging clinical experience in autoimmune diseases, more patients with more diseases can be helped or cured.

“We think we can make stem cell transplants safer and more efficient and change the conversation with patients from risk-focused to benefit-focused. Our goal is to make transplantation a desired early option for people with many blood and immune disorders.”

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