News & Views
Funding to take Therapies to next Level
Feb 12 2021 Read 708 Times
AffyXell Therapeutics, a joint venture between Avacta Group and Daewoong Pharmaceutical (Seoul) has closed a Series A venture capital investment of $7.3 million to develop genetically modified stem cells that will produce and secrete therapeutic proteins in situ in the patient.
Established in January 2020, AffyXell has combined Avacta’s Affimer platform with Daewoong’s mesenchymal stem cell (lMSC) platform to produce Affimer molecules generated to suppress immune response and restore immune balance.
While initially focusing on inflammatory and autoimmune diseases and prevention of organ transplant rejection, longer term goals could also include applications in regenerative medicine, infectious diseases and oncology.
The Series A investment was raised from a venture fund group including Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, Shinhan Venture Investment, Smilegate Investment, Shinhan Investment Corporation, Kolon Investment, Stonebridge Ventures and Gyeongnam Venture Investment.
Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge-based Avacta Group said: “The potential for AffyXell’s new class of MSC therapies to deliver improved treatments for a wide range of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases is significant, in a market estimated to be worth $16bn by 2025. We expect these novel engineered MSCs to show a more powerful therapeutic effect than existing antibodies and stem cells and they therefore have the potential to lead the rapidly growing field of cell and gene therapy. I look forward to updating the market on AffyXell’s further progress in due course.”
Sengho Jeon, Chief Executive Officer of Daewoong Pharmaceutical and AffyXell Therapeutics, commented: “AffyXell's successful Series A financing confirms the market’s high expectations and interest in new MSC therapies. It is also very encouraging that the concept of this joint venture, which was established based on the excellent platform technologies of Daewoong Pharmaceutical and Avacta, gains recognition for its vision among venture funds.
We look forward to launching new class of MSC therapies that overcome the limitations of existing antibodies and cells and provide meaningful treatment options to patients suffering from refractory diseases.”
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