As-yet-unnamed biotech will develop CAR-T cell therapies for cancer and autoimmune disease
A new company will combine CRISPR gene-editing technology from biotech Intellia and a CAR-T cell platform from cell therapy manufacturer Cellex to develop therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases, with $250 million funding from investment firm Blackstone Life Sciences.
“We believe that this exciting effort has the potential to leapfrog current CAR-T technologies and improve the standard of care for a broad range of patients,” said Nicholas Galakatos, Global Head of Blackstone Life Sciences, in a press release. Blackstone has invested billions into biotech in recent years, including several cell and gene therapy companies.
Intellia COO Andrew Schiermeier will be President and CEO of the new company, while CMO Gerhard Ehninger and CSO Armin Ehninger will join the startup from Cellex subsidiary GEMoaB. Blackstone adviser and former Sanofi CEO Olivier Brandicourt will chair the board of directors.
“Bringing together GEMoaB’s universal CAR-T platform with Intellia’s differentiated allogeneic T cell platform and CRISPR-based cell engineering provides a unique opportunity to move cell therapy technology to new heights. Our focus is on providing significantly safer and more efficacious treatments to patients who are suffering from hard-to-treat cancers and autoimmune diseases,” said Schiermeier.