Cell Therapy, Venture

Watch out bluebird bio. A little biotech just got Novartis’ backing to break out of the back field and race you to the finish line with a BCMA CAR-T

Scratch one biotech IPO. And add a pivotal BCMA CAR-T to the big race against multiple myeloma.

After getting hung up over the government shutdown last January, Poseida Therapeutics is getting ready to yank its S-1 after going back to the venture well to tank up on clinical trial cash. And they’ve brought Novartis in as a big new investor alongside the syndicate — coming up with $145 million total — handing the pharma giant a ringside seat on their upcoming pivotal push for what the biotech believes is a better BCMA-targeted CAR-T for multiple myeloma.

BCMA is one of the most crowded fields in oncology right now, but Poseida doesn’t just believe that they have a better way to tackle this target. CEO Eric Ostertag tells me that their approach to relying on stem cell memory T cells comes with the promise of far greater durability than you’ll find at bluebird, the leader in the field. And he’s come up with an accelerated trial plan — shooting to file a BLA in late 2020 — that he believes will result in a virtual regulatory tie with the rival outfit.


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VP Oncology Biology
Skyhawk Therapeutics Waltham, MA
Associate Director CMC
Elektroki Boston, MA
Director Process Development
Elektroki Boston, MA
Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT

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