- Cellares raises $255 million Series C to launch the first Integrated Development and Manufacturing Organization (IDMO) and a pioneering smart factory to meet global demand for life-saving cell therapies
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Aug. 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Cellares, the first Integrated Development and Manufacturing Organization (IDMO) dedicated to manufacturing cell therapies on a clinical and industrial scale, has secured $255 million in Series C financing led by new investor Koch Disruptive Technologies. In connection with the financing, David Mauney, CEO of Koch Disruptive Technologies, will join the company's board of directors. Global biopharmaceutical company and leader in cell therapy Bristol Myers Squibb also participated in the round, along with DFJ Growth, Willett Advisors and existing investors Eclipse, Decheng Capital and 8VC.
"Cell-based therapies have tremendous curative potential across a wide range of diseases. But right now, manufacturing using conventional CDMOs is expensive, failure-prone, and impossible to scale," said David Mauney, managing director of Koch Disruptive Technologies. "Cellares is driving transformation in the market by combining an Industry 4.0 approach with full vertical integration. As the first IDMO, Cellares is empowering cell therapy companies to create viable businesses, remain competitive, and meet the needs of populations of rapidly growing patients.
Cellares will use the new funds to launch the world's first commercial-scale IDMO smart factory, seamlessly integrating advanced robotics, purpose-built technology and interconnected software. The 118,000 square foot IDMO Smart Factory, located in Bridgewater, New Jersey, will be capable of producing 40,000 batches of cell therapy per year. By leveraging integrated technologies, IDMO Smart Factories can produce 10 times more batches of cell therapy per year than traditional CDMO facilities, even with the same space and workforce. Cellares Smart Factories will be deployed around the world to enable the cell therapy industry to meet global patient demand.
"The creation of the first IDMO marks the beginning of a new era, in which cell therapies can finally reach the patients who need them," said Cellares CEO Fabian Gerlinghaus. "We have developed integrated technologies for the entire drug development and manufacturing life cycle. We are now leveraging these technologies to offer global manufacturing services for the living medicines of the 21st century. Our partners include some of the best academic, biotech, and large companies pharmaceutical companies in the world. We are enabling them to meet total patient demand, improve consistency and quality, reduce manufacturing costs, and accelerate expansion into new markets."
The company's flexible manufacturing technology supports autologous and allogeneic cell therapy processes and approximately 90% of cell therapy modalities. The Cell Shuttle platform integrates all the technologies required for all unit operations and successfully runs CAR-T cell therapy processes with true end-to-end automation. Compact automation leads to a 90% reduction in labor and facility size to produce the same number of batches, enabling a 10-fold increase in productivity at IDMO Smart Factories in Cellares.
Cellares currently operates two Smart Factories in the United States and is planning a third. Cellares' first Smart Factory, located in South San Francisco, is currently being used for pre-clinical process development and manual process technology transfer to the Cell Shuttle for existing partners. The South San Francisco Smart Factory will be cGMP ready in the first half of 2024.
The new Smart Factory in Bridgewater, New Jersey is dedicated to manufacturing on a commercial scale. With 118,000 square feet of space, the site accommodates 50 Cell Shuttles and will be able to produce 40,000 batches per year. The New Jersey site will be ready for cGMP in the second half of 2024. While the company can support clinical trials in Europe from its US Smart Factories, it will also break ground on the first IDMO Smart Factory in Europe in 2024. .
Manual processes can be automated and technology transferred to Cellares' automated Cell Shuttle platform in just six months through the company's Technology Adoption Partnership (TAP) program. Under the TAP program, participating cell therapy developers can technology transfer their cell therapy processes to a Cell Shuttle at any stage: during preclinical development, in the clinic, or after regulatory approval. Thanks to automation, standardization and Software Defined Manufacturing (SDM), every subsequent technology transfer is instantaneous to any other Cell Shuttle in any other Smart Factory anywhere in the world.
Visit cellares.com/partnering/ to learn more about the TAP program and to request a meeting with a business development representative.
Cellares is the first Integrated Development and Manufacturing Organization (IDMO) and takes an Industry 4.0 approach to mass manufacturing the living medicines of the 21st century. The company is developing and operating integrated cell therapy manufacturing technologies to accelerate access to life-saving cell therapies. The company's Cell Shuttle integrates all the technologies required for the entire manufacturing process into a flexible, high-performance platform that offers true end-to-end automation. Cell Shuttles will be deployed in Cellares smart factories around the world to meet the full demand for cell therapies from patients on a global scale. The partnership with Cellares enables academics, biotech and pharmaceutical companies to accelerate drug development and scale up manufacturing, reduce process failure rates, lower manufacturing costs and meet global patient demand.
The company is headquartered in South San Francisco, California, with its commercial-scale IDMO Smart Factory in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The company is backed by world-class investors and has raised more than $355 million in funding.
For more information about Cellares, visit cellares.com.
 Based on a 7-day autologous process. With shorter processes or allogeneic approaches, the IDMO Smart Factory in Bridgewater, NJ, can produce even more doses per year.
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