Sana gets a competitor as Takeda, 5AM pour $170M into a Fred Hutch pioneer's quest to unseat CAR-T, ex vivo gene therapy
Over the last decade, Hans-Peter Kiem, the Fred Hutch stem cell biologist, and 5AM Ventures chief Kush Parmar founded a slate of prominent biotechs, including Vor and Homology Medicines. But whenever the two spoke, there was one idea Kiem couldn’t stop pitching.
Kiem wanted to build a gene therapy biotech that would try to edit a patient’s stem cells with a single injection, rather than by the arduous and now three-decades-old process of removing, modifying and re-implanting them. If he could pull it off, he could take the curative results bluebird bio saw in sickle cell and instantly make it safer and far more scalable. Cancer-clearing CAR-T drugs could be given by IV at the local clinic.
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