Immune cell gene therapy startup Gracell raises US$85m in Temasek-led series B round

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IMMNUNE cell gene therapy startup Gracell Biotechnologies has raised US$85 million through a series B round led by Singapore government investment firm Temasek Holdings.

Also taking part in the financing round were Lilly Asia Ventures, Kington Capital, King Star Capital and Chengdu Miaoji.

Suzhou, China-based Gracell, whose technology focuses on developing modified immune cells called T-cells, will use the proceeds to enter clinical trials for several of its next-generation candidates. The company has already completed pre-clinical development of a series of low-cost Chimeric Antigen Receptors T-cell (CAR T) therapy products and entered Institutional Review Board (IRB) clinical research.

The company said that it expects to develop a data package from its clinical IRB studies and advance several products to Investigational New Drug filings and clinical trials in the near future.

Gracell is led by William Cao, who previously headed Nasdaq-listed Cellular Biomedicine Group.

"Immune cell gene therapy is expected to become a pillar of modern medicine, but the industry is still in its infancy," Mr Cao said in a press release. "Challenges and opportunities coexist. Gracell has a leading technology platform and a mission-driven team that is committed to solving industry-wide cellular gene therapy technical difficulties. The company's goal is to develop high-quality, low-cost, easy-to-use cellular gene therapies that bring hope to cancer patients in need."

Gracell previously received series A financing from 6 Dimensions.

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