Temasek leads $115m funding round for medical firm

Medical start-up Gracell Biotechnologies has raised US$85 million (S$115 million) through a series B round led by investment firm Temasek.

Lilly Asia Ventures, Kington Capital, King Star Capital and Chengdu Miaoji also took part in the financing.

The firm aims to develop low-cost, easy-to-use cellular gene therapies for cancer patients, said Gracell founder, chairman and chief executive William Cao.

Gracell, which is based in Suzhou, China, focuses its technology on developing modified immune cells called T-cells. It will use the financing proceeds to enter clinical trials for several of its next-generation candidates.

The firm has completed pre-clinical development of a series of low-cost therapy products, and entered Institutional Review Board (IRB) clinical research.

Gracell, which is based in Suzhou, China, focuses its technology on developing modified immune cells called T-cells.

Gracell said it expects to develop a data package from its clinical IRB studies, and advance several products to Investigational New Drug filings and clinical trials in the near future.

Said Dr Cao: "Immune cell gene therapy is expected to become a pillar of modern medicine, but the industry is still in its infancy. Gracell has a leading technology platform and a mission-driven team that is committed to solving industry-wide cellular gene therapy technical difficulties."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2019, with the headline 'Temasek leads $115m funding round for medical firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe