PureTech Health Affiliate Vor Biopharma Announces $42 Million Series A Financing Round to Advance Cell Therapy Product Candidate for the Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
Financing led by 5AM Ventures and RA Capital Management with Participation from Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Osage University Partners, and Vor Co-founder PureTech Health
PureTech Health plc (LSE: PRTC) (“PureTech Health”), an advanced biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines for dysfunctions of the Brain-Immune-Gut (BIG) Axis, is pleased to note that its affiliate, Vor Biopharma, today announced a $42 million Series A financing round. The round was led by 5AM Ventures and RA Capital Management, with participation from Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), Osage University Partners, and Co-founder PureTech Health. The proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Vor’s lead engineered hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-based candidate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) towards the clinic, and to further build its pipeline to treat hematologic malignancies.
Vor’s approach is designed to target cancer cells while sparing healthy blood cells, and it has the potential to expand the reach of existing targeted immunotherapies to a broad range of patient populations and haematological malignancies, including AML where there is a significant need for more-effective, less-toxic treatment options. Vor’s engineered HSC technology platform is designed to address the fundamental limitations of the highly potent immunotherapies currently available, including antibody-drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies, and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells.
Joseph Bolen, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at PureTech Health, said: “Vor’s approach is designed to overcome a major limitation of some of the most powerful cancer treatments and to offer a novel therapeutic approach for patients who currently have very few treatment options and poor prognoses. Funding from this impressive syndicate of financial and strategic investors provides an important endorsement of this unique platform and brings us closer to our goal of addressing the tremendous need for new cancer therapies.”
The full text announcement from Vor Biopharma is as follows:
Vor Biopharma Completes $42 Million Series A Financing Round to Advance Lead Cell Therapy Product Candidate for the Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
Financing led by 5AM Ventures and RA Capital Management
Participation from Johnson & Johnson Innovation-JJDC, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Osage University Partners, and Vor Co-founder PureTech Health
BOSTON, Feb. 14, 2019 — Vor Biopharma, an immuno-oncology company pioneering engineered hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) therapies for the treatment of haematological malignancies, today announced a $42 million Series A financing round led by 5AM Ventures and RA Capital Management. Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), and Osage University Partners also participated in the round along with Vor Co-founder PureTech Health. Vor plans to use the proceeds from the financing to advance its lead HSC-based candidate for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) towards the clinic, and to further build its pipeline to treat hematologic malignancies.
“Vor’s unique and patented technology platform for enabling targeted immunotherapies using engineered HSCs has the potential to disrupt the treatment landscape for hematologic malignancies,” said Kush Parmar, MD, PhD, Managing Partner at 5AM Ventures who has joined the Vor Biopharma Board of Directors as Executive Chair. “We are excited to work with Vor to drive this next chapter of growth forward.”
“The need for new therapies for hematologic malignancies is dire. I am gratified that this discovery from my lab continues to advance towards the clinic. This new platform may enable more patients to benefit from the life-saving potential of targeted immunotherapies,” said Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhil, Vor Co-founder and Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University. “I look forward to further engaging with the scientific community when we publish our results in peer-reviewed journals.”
“We are excited about Vor’s bold and novel approach to potentially revolutionise the way stem cell transplants are used to treat severe hematologic cancers,” said Joshua Resnick, MD, Managing Director at RA Capital who has also joined the Vor Biopharma Board of Directors.
Vor’s engineered HSC technology platform is designed to address fundamental limitations of today’s immunotherapies. Vor’s approach has the potential to expand the reach of targeted immunotherapies to a broad range of patient populations and haematological malignancies by enabling new dosing paradigms for cancer-targeted immunotherapies, which can substantially improve the therapeutic window for efficacy and improve patient safety.
“We are delighted to welcome this terrific syndicate of investors, who share our passion, commitment, and vision for bringing Vor’s potentially life-saving new therapies to patients with acute myeloid leukaemia and other hematologic malignancies,” said Bharatt Chowrira, JD, PhD, Board of Directors at Vor Biopharma and President and Chief of Business & Strategy at PureTech Health.
About Vor Biopharma
Co-founded by PureTech Health (LSE: PRTC) and based on the pioneering work of Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, DPhil, as well as Vor’s own intellectual property, Vor is developing a proprietary pipeline of best-in-class immunotherapies for patients. The Company is working with some of the world’s leading oncologists and immunologists including Hans-Peter Kiem, MD, PhD, the Fred Hutch Endowed Chair for Cell and Gene Therapy and the Director of the Stem Cell and Gene Therapy Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine; Dan Littman, MD, PhD, the Kimmel Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Skirball Institute and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at NYU Langone Health; Derrick J. Rossi, PhD, an Associate Professor in the Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department at Harvard Medical School and Harvard University; and Joseph Bolen, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at PureTech Health.
About PureTech Health
PureTech Health (LSE: PRTC) is an advanced biopharmaceutical company developing novel medicines for dysfunctions of the Brain-Immune-Gut (BIG) Axis. The Company has developed deep insights into the connection between these systems and the resulting role in diseases that have proven resistant to established therapeutic approaches. By harnessing this emerging field of human biology, PureTech Health is developing new categories of medicines with the potential to have great impact on people with serious diseases.
PureTech Health is advancing a rich pipeline of innovative therapies across two divisions: its Affiliates and its Internal labs. PureTech’s Affiliates include seven clinical-stage platforms with two product candidates that have been filed with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for review and other novel pre-clinical programmes. These Affiliates are developing ground-breaking platforms and therapeutic candidates in collaboration with some of the world’s leading experts.
PureTech’s Internal research and development is centred on tissue-selective immunomodulation for the treatment of oncology, autoimmune, and CNS-related disorders, with a near-term focus on targeting newly-discovered, foundational immunosuppressive mechanisms in oncology and novel approaches that harness the lymphatic infrastructure.
PureTech's percentage ownership of Vor Biopharma following the financing is approximately 30.2% on a diluted basis. This calculation of PureTech's holding includes issued and outstanding shares as well as options and warrants to purchase shares, but excludes unallocated shares authorised to be issued pursuant to equity incentive plans.
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company's future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risks and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the regulatory filings for PureTech Health plc. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law and regulatory requirements, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) 596/2014.