Venture

Magenta bags $52M Series C for bone marrow transplant pipeline

High-flying Cambridge startup Magenta has snagged $52 million in a new financing round to push forward the company’s pipeline of therapies for bone marrow transplant.

The money comes in an oversubscribed Series C round led by New York-based Casdin Capital, with EcorR1 Capital, Eventide Asset Management, Watermill Asset Management and additional long-term institutional investors joining in.

Eli Casdin

The cash will be used to advance Magenta’s portfolio, including targeted bone marrow transplant conditioning programs, stem cell mobilization and stem cell expansion programs. The funding will also push forward Magenta’s most advanced clinical product candidate, MGTA- 456, a cell therapy in Phase II trials in patients with inherited metabolic diseases.

Eli Casdin, the chief investment officer at Casdin Capital, said he believes a “remarkable era in bone marrow transplant” is underway.

“With encouraging clinical proof-of-concept data in hand for their most advanced program applying stem cell expansion in blood cancers, and now more recently preclinical data from their targeted transplant conditioning and stem cell mobilization programs, we see fast growth for the potential across the Magenta portfolio,” Casdin said in a statement. “We are excited to be a partner in the future of this field, and importantly, to help Magenta’s advancement of these and other programs.”

John Davis

Magenta, with its lofty goals of improving stem cell transplantation, has been making a splash in the big Cambridge/Boston hub, previously gathering $98.5 million in venture cash from some marquee investors that include GV — the venture group formerly known as Google Ventures — and in-licensing a mid-stage drug that Novartis thinks highly of for enhancing cord blood stem cells as a treatment. Just last month, Magenta teamed up with German biotech Heidelberg Pharma on a bone marrow R&D pact that included $334 million in potential milestone payments.

And in February, Magenta recruited Big Pharma R&D exec John Davis, formerly of Pfizer, to serve as the company’s new chief medical officer.


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