While Flagship Pioneering was unwrapping a huge $120 million round for Rubius this morning, the busy venture group also launched a biotech on a mission to create a new type of encapsulated cell therapy.
Turning to two scientific founders — MIT’s Daniel Anderson and the prolific Robert Langer — the discovery group at Flagship has been working on permeable biomaterials that are designed to implant cells in tissue to deliver proteins in a sustained fashion, without triggering fibrosis.
Researchers have been refining this tech in Flagship’s VentureLabs for the past two years, and now they are pursuing it at Sigilon Therapeutics with a $23.5 million A round.
“Imagine the potential of a ‘living therapeutic’ that could be implanted in the body and manufacture and release therapeutic proteins at steady levels for long periods of time, avoiding the critical limitations of intermittent infusion required with current therapies,” said CEO Paul Wotton.
Flagship has pulled together another veteran team for this new player.
Wotton ran Ocata until it was bought out by Astellas. This rest of the team includes chief technology officer David Peritt, a Pfizer vet, and chief strategy officer and head of operations Devyn Smith, who was previously head of operations and strategy for the medicinal sciences division of worldwide R&D at Pfizer. James Watson, chief business officer of Sigilon Therapeutics, previously served as CBO at Alvine Pharmaceuticals.
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