24.07.2012 - London-based biotech company Cell Medica, developing cell-based therapeutics, has closed a £17m (€21,7m) funding round.
The financing includes a significant contribution from a Texan state fund called The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). Cell Medica is to begin new operations in Texas focused on cancer immunotherapy as a result of the funding, which will also finance ongoing immune reconstitution studies in Europe.
CPRIT is committing £9.7m (€12,4m) to Cell Medica, enabling it conduct US clinical development of its Cytorex EBV therapy to treat cancers associated with Epstein Barr virus. In Europe, the company's Cytovir technologies are being developed for the treatment of life-threatening viral infections in lymphoma and leukaemia patients who have undergone bone marrow transplants. The company hopes to launch its Cytovir therapy for cytomegalovirus in Europe next year following completion of two ongoing studies in the UK. Other investors include Invesco Perpetual (£4m or €5,1m) and Imperial Innovations (£3m, €3,8m). The Wellcome Trust also becomes a shareholder in the company through conversion of a loan security into equity. Cell Medica uses its technology to select, activate and expand T-cells to treat a range of indications. The firm has additionally appointed Thomas Hecht, a former transplant physician and previous senior executive in Amgen's European Operation, as chairman.
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