In push to expand its CAR-T therapies to US, China biotech Oricell raises additional $45M
Shanghai biotech Oricell has raised an additional $45 million to bankroll its preclinical and early-stage cancer cell therapies, it announced Tuesday morning.
Following a showing at ASCO last year with a GPRC5D-directed CAR-T therapy for multiple myeloma, Oricell raised a $120 million Series B in July. The latest raise is an extension of that round, and was led by RTW Investments and Qatar Investment Authority, followed by existing investors Qiming Venture Partners and C&D Emerging Industry Equity Investment.
The biotech said that newly raised money would primarily be put towards clinical development in the US.
Oricell is working on a number of CAR-T therapies and solid tumor antibody candidates. In the Phase I trial presented at ASCO, a group of patients with treatment-resistant multiple myeloma had a 100% overall response rate and 60% stringent complete response to Oricell’s GPRC5D-directed CAR-T.
In particular, Oricell highlighted a group of five patients who had already received BCMA CAR-T therapy. Two achieved stringent complete response, two had “very good partial response,” and one had a partial response, the company said. And with a median follow-up ranging from 35 to 281 days, all were progression-free at the cutoff date at ASCO.
Oricell said it hopes to expand the trial for its GPRC5D-directed CAR-T therapy to the US, where it’s currently in the IND-enabling phase.
In addition, Oricell has a GPC3-directed CAR-T cell therapy called Ori-C101, which it’s studying in advanced hepatocellular carcinoma.