Dr. Robert Hariri is a fascinating figure in the stem cell industry, because he was the earliest pioneer to recognize the regenerative potential of the human placenta. In August 2017, Hariri brought his latest company, Celularity, into the spotlight by announcing a successful Series A financing with contributions from influential investors, including United Therapeutics Corporation, Celgene, Sorrento Therapeutics, and Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI).
Today, Celularity’s investor contributions have reached an astounding $250 million, including contributions from the Genting Group, Dreyfus Family Office and Tony Robbins, among other notable investors.
Celularity, a spin-out company from global biopharmaceutical giant Celgene, announced this morning that it has raised $250 million to support development of revolutionary placental-derived products, including T-cells that will be immune advantaged because of their derivation from the placenta. This is a massive accomplishment, because it dwarfs the $225 million in Series A financing raised by BlueRock Therapeutics in December 2016 that was previously a landmark accomplishment within the stem cell industry.
With the Celgene snagging Juno Therapeutics for a shocking $9 billion in January 2018 and Gilead picking up Kite Pharma for an astounding $11.9 billion in August 2017, Celularity is also joining the ranks of powerful immunotherapy companies that could be a target for merger or acquisition.
If that wasn’t enough, Celularity is looking to burst a major bottleneck in the industry by deriving T-cells from a single (allogeneic) cell line, potentially positioning itself to slash the price point for CAR-T treatments. Currently, Gilead and subsidiary Kite Pharma have a CAR-T cell therapy on the market (Yescarta) with a price point of $373,000 per patient and Novartis has a genetically modified autologous CAR-T therapy (Kymriah) priced at $475,000 per treatment.
At its core, Celularity is a biotechnology company that specializes in leveraging biologically active cell populations within the postpartum human placenta. Founded on the pioneering work of Robert Hariri, MD, PhD, in human placenta-derived cellular therapeutics and biomaterials, Celularity is uniquely positioned to harness the potential of most biocreative event on earth: human birth. [Read more…]