San Francisco, California-based programmable cell therapy company Arsenal Biosciences, known for developing innovative CAR T therapies for solid tumors, has wrapped up a lucrative Series B financing round totaling $220 million. The oversubscribed round featured contributions from a batch of new investors including Softbank Vision Fund 2, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Byers Capital, Emerson Collective Investments, Green Sands, Hitachi Ventures, and Sixth Street, while existing investors Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI), Westlake Village BioPartners, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Foundation Investment Company, Euclidean Capital, Waycross Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins continued their financial support of ArsenalBio.
The new funding will help the company substantially augment its already formidable programmable cell therapy research endeavors, and its therapeutic candidate pipeline is set to broaden with additional solid tumor solutions across a range of cancer indications. The Series B wrap-up comes shortly after initial trial planning for its lead program, AB-1015, an ovarian cancer candidate that is projected to earn FDA IND clearance as well as commence patient dosing later in the year. ArsenalBio also has other cancer indications, such as kidney and prostate, covered with a handful of early-stage candidates.
“ArsenalBio’s programmable cell therapy technology has shown great promise in preclinical development, giving us confidence that our approach may help address the unmet medical needs of cancer patients, ultimately helping alleviate human suffering,” said Dr. Ken Drazan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ArsenalBio. “We look forward to entering the clinic so we can more fully understand the promise of our technology in treating ovarian and ultimately other devastating cancers.” Drazan has tapped an investor for SoftBank Investment Advisers and an attending pediatric oncology physician at Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Valentin (Vali) Barsan, for a new seat on the company’s Board of Directors. He also serves on the boards of Neuron23 and Umoja Biopharma.