Hans-Peter Kiem (Fred Hutch)

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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