Investor enthusiasm for Greater Philadelphia’s cell and gene therapy sector continues with more than $3 billion invested in the region’s sector in 2021, according to data from biopharma database company DealForma (as of December 3). The 17 firms reflected in the tally include those performing research and commercial development as well as a provider of products and services essential to the sector.
The deal types range from seed-stage funding for Code Biotherapeutics Inc. to an IPO for Century Therapeutics and a SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) for Renovacor, Inc., in addition to some common stock offerings, several Series A and B rounds, and one Series C round.
Code Bio is an emerging gene therapy company pioneering the development of targeted non-viral gene therapies to treat serious and life-threatening genetic diseases. Based in Hatfield, Pa., Code Bio captured $10 million in seed financing in an April round led by 4BIO Capital and UPMC Enterprises with participation from CureDuchenne Ventures, JDRF T1D Fund, New Enterprise Associates, and Takeda Ventures, Inc.
Century Therapeutics is a leading cell therapy company developing induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived cell therapies in immune-oncology. The company closed its $242.65 million initial public offering in June. This followed a $160 million Series C in March.
In September, Renovacor, Inc. closed its business combination with Chardan Healthcare Acquisition 2 Corp. and began trading on the NYSE. Renovacor is focused on genetically-driven cardiovascular and mechanistically-related diseases, including a rare gene-associated form of dilated cardiomyopathy.
Other notable deals include INOVIO’s closing of a public offering of common stock valued at $173 million, and Passage Bio, Inc.’s sale of more than $150 million in common stock. Both occurred in January. INOVIO, headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., is focused on bringing to market precisely designed DNA medicines to treat and protect people from infectious diseases, including COVID-19, cancer and HPV-associated diseases. Passage Bio, based in Philadelphia, is a clinical-stage genetics medicines company focused on developing transformative therapies for central nervous system disorders.
Among the biggest funding events captured in this 2021 cell and gene therapy-focused total are Avantor, Inc.’s private offering of $800 million of Senior Notes announced in October. The Radnor, Pa.-based company is a leading global provider of mission-critical products and services to customers in the life sciences and advanced technologies & applied materials industries.
For a listing of regional cell and gene therapy R&D companies and other information about the Greater Philadelphia cell and gene therapy industry visit https://ceocouncilforgrowth.com/initiatives/cell-gene-therapy-and-connected-health/ .