-- Research Collaboration to Develop Next Generation Cell-based Therapies for Solid Tumors --
-- $40 Million Raised by CERo to Facilitate Preclinical and Clinical Development --
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CERo Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company, today announced a research collaboration with Lyell Immunopharma, Inc. to develop next generation cell-based immunotherapies for solid tumors. At the same time, CERo announced the completion of a $40 million Series A private financing.
Collaboration Agreement with Lyell Immunopharma
Under the terms of the agreement, CERo and Lyell will collaborate to pursue proof-of-concept studies for a new class of cell-based therapeutics directed against solid tumors. CERo’s CER-T technology instructs immune cells to engage novel and complementary tumor cell clearance pathways designed to enable deeper and more sustained responses against broad classes of tumors.
“CERo’s technology combines multiple forms of tumor cell clearance and introduces them into single cells to vastly expand their therapeutic potential,” said Daniel Corey, MD, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of CERo. “Lyell, with their advanced T-cell capabilities, is an ideal partner for CERo. We believe the two platforms have powerful therapeutic synergies.”
“CERo is building an innovative class of therapeutics by leveraging understandings from innate immunology and synthetic biology,” said Rick Klausner, MD, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lyell Immunopharma, Inc. “We look forward to a productive partnership designed to rapidly identify effective cell-based therapies.”
Lyell Immunopharma Inc. is a cell therapy company dedicated to understanding and developing technologies to overcome the fundamental barriers to curative therapies. Lyell is focused on advancing the science of T-cell differentiation, functionality, and target specificity in order to develop curative treatments for human disease.
CERo Private Financing
The Series A private financing, which included ARCH Venture Partners, Milky Way Investments Group Limited, Lyell Immunopharma, Inc., Sequoia Capital China, Altitude Life Science Ventures, and existing CERo shareholders raised $40 million. Proceeds from the financing are being used to expand start-up operations and advance the company’s proprietary CER-T technology platform into the clinic.
“CERo is exploring a fresh avenue of rich scientific investigation to reimagine tumor cell clearance” said Robert Nelsen, Co-founder and Managing Director of ARCH Venture Partners.
The company’s leadership includes a number of senior executives who have extensive experience in drug discovery and development, finance and cell-based therapeutics.
Members of the Board of Directors include:
Daniel Corey, MD, Co-founder, serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer. A board-certified hematologist, Dr. Corey trained at both Duke University’s School of Medicine and Stanford University’s School of Medicine.
Stanley Riddell, MD, is Head of Research and Development at Lyell Immunopharma, Inc. and is a Member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington. He was a co-founder of Juno Therapeutics.
Stuart Sloan, Founder of Sloan Capital Companies, previously served as a Director of the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research in Seattle and as a Director of the Swedish Medical Center. He has been a founder, investor, senior executive, and board member of a number of companies at different stages in their corporate growth, including Shuck’s Auto Supply, Quality Food Centers, J Crew, and Anixter International.
Heather Turner, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Lyell Immunopharma, Inc., has provided legal guidance to private and public biotechnology companies. She also has executive leadership experience across a number of key functions, including portfolio strategy, medical affairs, government affairs and human resources.
In addition, providing further scientific expertise is:
Lawrence Corey, MD, co-founded CERo, heads its Scientific Advisory Board and is a Board Observer. Dr. Corey is a member and past President of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a Co-founder of Juno Therapeutics, Vir Biotechnology, and Immune Design Corporation.
CERo also has an internal team of about a dozen researchers. Collectively they have numerous scientific publications related to CERo’s emerging technology and have filed multiple patent applications. The CER-T platform technology is wholly owned by the company.
About CERo’s CER-T Platform
Recently, cell-based therapies have emerged as new tools in the fight against cancer. Despite their success, there remain limitations in their effectiveness, breadth of application, and tolerability. CERo’s CER-T platform lies at the intersection of innate and adaptive cell clearance, combining the body’s natural signaling mechanisms, which are capable of recognizing and disposing of unwanted cells, with armed T cells. By incorporating multiple forms of tumor cell clearance, CERo intends to expand the capabilities of engineered cells to address the most difficult-to-treat tumors. This integrated approach draws on recent advances in molecular immunology and a deeper understanding of cell signaling downstream of specialized receptors that cooperate to ingest and eliminate dangerous cells and pathogens.
About CERo Therapeutics
CERo Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company pioneering cell-based therapies that incorporate multiple forms of tumor clearance into single cells. CERo’s differentiated approach combines the body’s natural signaling mechanisms that recognize and dispose of unwanted cells with synthetic biology techniques to engineer immune cells capable of eliminating tumors. The company’s long-term aim is to create powerful therapeutics for a broad range of cancers and human diseases. To learn more about the company and its science, please visit www.cero.bio.
CERo Therapeutics, Inc.
Daniel Corey, MD