SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Arsenal Biosciences, Inc. (ArsenalBio), a privately held programmable cell therapy company engineering advanced CAR T therapies for solid tumors, today announced the close of a $220 million Series B financing round. New investors Softbank Vision Fund 2, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Byers Capital, Emerson Collective Investments, Green Sands, Hitachi Ventures, Sixth Street, and others joined existing investors the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI), Westlake Village BioPartners, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Foundation Investment Company, Euclidean Capital, Waycross Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins, in supporting the oversubscribed round.
Proceeds from the financing will help the company expand its programmable cell therapy research activities and grow its pipeline of therapeutic candidates for solid tumor malignancies across a range of cancer indications. The fundraising comes as the company begins planning for clinical trials of its lead program AB-1015, an ovarian cancer candidate for which FDA IND clearance and first patient dosing are targeted for later this year. The company also has candidates in early development for kidney, prostate, and other cancer indications.
“ArsenalBio’s programmable cell therapy technology has shown great promise in preclinical development, giving us confidence that our approach may help address the unmet medical needs of cancer patients, ultimately helping alleviate human suffering,” said Ken Drazan, M.D., ArsenalBio’s founder and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to entering the clinic so we can more fully understand the promise of our technology in treating ovarian and ultimately other devastating cancers.”
Valentin (Vali) Barsan, M.D., investor for SoftBank Investment Advisers and attending pediatric oncology physician at Stanford University School of Medicine, has joined the ArsenalBio Board of Directors. He holds a medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine and has clinical experience with the use of both FDA-approved as well as investigational CAR T cell therapies in pediatric and adult liquid and solid tumors. In addition to ArsenalBio, he serves on the Board of Directors for Neuron23 and Umoja Biopharma.
“Whereas CAR T-cell therapy has shown remarkable success in hematological malignancies, solid tumors have proven more challenging. Advances in genome engineering technologies such as CRISPR-Cas enable us to perceive mechanisms and develop tools that address T-cell exhaustion and improve memory, retain stemness, and enable persistence. I look forward to working closely with the ArsenalBio team to improve cancer immunotherapy through synthetic and computational biology techniques that will advance our ability to apply these cutting-edge therapies in patient care,” said Dr. Barsan.
About Arsenal Biosciences Inc.
Arsenal Biosciences, Inc. (ArsenalBio), headquartered in South San Francisco, Calif., is a privately held programmable cell therapy company discovering and developing a pipeline of next-generation autologous T cell therapies to defeat cancer. Our full-stack R&D engine generates multifunctional T cell medicines, enabled by precise and specific CRISPR insertion of large synthetic DNA sequences. ArsenalBio is building the industry’s largest DNA library of therapeutic enhancing integrated circuits, incorporating logic gating for improved tumor targeting and synthetic features enabling multiple pharmaceutical functions. In pioneering a computationally driven approach alongside nonviral clinical manufacturing, we aspire to deliver enhanced efficacy, increased patient safety, reduced stakeholder costs, and expanded market access. To learn more, visit www.arsenalbio.com and follow us on Twitter @ArsenalBio, LinkedIn and Facebook.