Appia Bio raises $ 52 million in Series A funding
Appia Bio, Inc., an early-stage biotechnology company based in Los Angeles, Calif. that develops engineered allogeneic cell therapies from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) for cancer patients, stealthily launched with $ 52 million in series funding AT.
The round was led by 8VC with participation from Two Sigma Ventures and seed investors Sherpa Healthcare Partners and Freeflow Ventures. As part of the Series A funding, Francisco Gimenez, PhD, partner, and David Moskowitz, PhD, director, at 8VC, join the company’s board of directors, and David Baltimore, PhD, from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech ) was elected Chairman of the Board.
Proceeds will be used to advance invariant natural killer T cells (CAR-iNKT) derived from stem cells derived from stem cells
Led by JJ Kang, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO, Appia Bio focuses on the discovery and development of ready-to-use allogeneic cell therapies in a wide range of cancer indications, using an evolving technology platform with the aim of improving access for patients. With its ACUA technology platform, the company leverages the developmental biology of lymphocytes with the genetic engineering of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) and T cell receptors (TCRs) to generate invariant natural killer T cells (CAR-iNKT) from HSC.
The platform grew out of research in the lab of Lili Yang, PhD, associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and her collaborations with the company’s other scientific founders.
The founders include:
- David Baltimore, PhD, Nobel Laureate, President Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of Biology, Caltech
- JJ Kang, PhD, CEO, Appia Bio; former partner, The Column Group
- Edmund Kim, PhD, COO of Appia Bio; Former Vice President of Corporate Development, Kite Pharma
- Pin Wang, PhD, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California (USC)
- Jeff Wiezorek, MD, chief medical officer, Appia Bio; former head of cell therapy development, Kite Pharma
- Lili Yang, PhD, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, UCLA
Appia Bio also announced the establishment of a scientific council, comprising
- Mitchell Kronenberg, PhD, President and CSO, La Jolla Institute for Immunology
- Antoni Ribas, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, UCLA, and Director of the Tumor Immunology Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Margo Roberts, PhD, former CSO, Kite Pharma and Lyell Immunopharma