March 15 (Reuters) - ElevateBio said on Monday it has raised
$525 million in new funding led by Matrix Capital Management, to
help increase manufacturing capacity and also advance
development of its cell and gene therapies.
The new financing, one of the bigger fund raises in the
healthcare sector this year, also included investment from
SoftBank Vision Fund 2, the cell and gene therapy developer
The company is the largest shareholder in cell therapy
developer Allovir Inc, and its other portfolio
companies include HighPassBio, which is also developing a
treatment for leukemia patients.
ElevateBio is seeing demand for manufacturing services from
both its portfolio companies, as well as from academic
researchers and biotech companies, said co-founder and Chief
Executive Officer David Hallal.
The funding comes as larger drugmakers work to build their
own manufacturing plants for gene therapies, in a drive to
better control production of the world's priciest medicines.
Biogen Inc said earlier this month that it planned
to spend $200 million to build a new gene therapy manufacturing
"We do have a fundamental belief that a large percentage of
innovation will keep coming through traditional academic or
early-stage companies," Hallal said.
These companies, however, "don't necessarily have either
the time, the capital or the talent, to accelerate their
As part of the series C funding round, ElevateBio said Karan
Takhar, senior managing director at Matrix Capital Management
and Deep Nishar, senior managing partner, SoftBank Investment
Advisers, will join its board of directors.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh