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16 March 2017

Cell Medica applies $73m series C

Touchstone Innovations has returned for the immunotherapy developer’s series C round, having co-founded the company in 2007 and backed every round since then.

Author: Thierry Heles, editor

UK-based cellular immunotherapy developer Cell Medica closed a £60m ($73m) series C round today from a consortium that included Touchstone Innovations, the investment firm spun out of Imperial College London.

Touchstone contributed £13.7m to the round. Invesco Perpetual and Woodford Investment Management, through respective unspecified funds, also participated in the round.

Cell Medica, co-founded in 2007 by the company’s chief executive Gregg Sando with Touchstone, is working on immunotherapies.

Its lead oncology candidate, baltaleucel-T, is currently undergoing a phase 2 clinical trial for patients with advanced lymphomas associated with the Epstein Barr virus. Baltaleucel-T exploits the patient’s own immune system to target cancer cells with limited side effects.

The company has also entered collaboration agreements with University College London and Baylor College of Medicine to commercialise additional product candidates.

The cash will go towards the further development of Cell Medica’s three technology platforms.

Touchstone, then known as Imperial Innovations, previously led a £50m series B round in 2014, with participation from Invesco Perpetual and Woodford Investment Management.

Touchstone also led a £17m series A round in 2012, while Invesco Perpetual and Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas also took part. Wellcome Trust converted a previous loan into equity at the same time.

In 2007, Touchstone supplied an undisclosed amount of seed funding.

Gregg Sando, chief executive of Cell Medica, said: "With the strong support of our key shareholders, Cell Medica will implement the next phase of our development program, bringing a new generation of cell-based immunotherapy products into phase 1 clinical trials as well as completing our phase 2 program for baltaleucel-T.

“This funding enables us to continue our efforts to unlock the full potential of cellular immunotherapy for the benefit of cancer patients.”

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