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Celularity Opens Shop with $250M Bang


The company's founders say they want to make a world where "cancer is managed just like the common cold” and "100 years old is the new 60.”

Celularity founder Robert Hariri said his firm’s goal was to build a world “where cancer is managed just like the common cold.” Peter Diamandis, his co-founder, said that they wanted to “make 100 years old the new 60.”

Today, they got a $250 million head start on those ambitions.

The young New Jersey-based firm focuses on placental stem cell and regenerative treatments. It has numerous assets already thanks to its lineage (it’s a spinoff of Celgene) and relationships with other major development companies.

Its official announcement cites its “unparalleled [intellectual property] position” as a major asset that contributed to its sudden rise from spinoff to industry giant. Celularity owns over 800 patents for cell therapy and regenerative medicine.

The company has 2 placenta-derived tissue repair agents on the market, Interfyl and Biovance. It also says it has a phase 3-ready placental adherent cell product for Crohn’s disease, a “proprietary clinical stage Placental Natural Killer cell program,” and “late-stage pipeline assets across broad disease indications.”

Celgene contributed some of the funding. United Therapeutics, Sorrento Therapeutics, Human Longevity Inc., Genting Group, the Dreyfus Family Office, Section 32, and Heritage Group also joined the massive funding drive.

“By combining synergistic assets from Celgene, United Therapeutics, Sorrento Therapeutics, and Human Longevity, Celularity is accelerating the development of cell and tissue regenerative products to address unmet medical needs,” its statement says.

The company also has valuable interests in the impending CAR-T boom. It has a pair of CD38 CAR-T programs, which target multiple myeloma, and access to Sorento’s G-MAB Library, which contains more than 50 human antibody-CAR constructs.

Celularity trumpets 3 main tenets: cell therapy, functional regeneration, and biosourcing. It owns LifeBankUSA, allowing families to store placental tissue for future use. About 99% of placental material is discarded following birth, meaning there’s a massive untapped supply of raw material to draw from.

The company only launched in 2016, but it has an eye-popping Board of Directors that includes former FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, early Apple CEO John Sculley, and Google Ventures founder Bill Maris.

"Our investment in Celularity brings together its proprietary allogeneic placental platform and Sorrento's best in class CAR-T products and cGMP manufacturing capabilities," Sorrento President and CEO (and Celularity board member) Henry Ji said in the statement. "Together, we can deliver these health solutions at scale to treat exponentially more people than we ever thought possible."

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