SAN DIEGO, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Novocell, Inc., a stem cell engineering company, today announced the closing of a $25 million Series C financing. The financing included participation by existing investors Sanderling Ventures, Asset Management Company and Pacific Horizon Ventures and was led by Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation.
"This very successful financing was driven by Novocell's stem cell engineering expertise, superb scientific team and execution of key milestones toward the development of a first-in-class cell therapy for insulin requiring diabetics," said Alan J. Lewis, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Novocell. "Future milestones include the preclinical development of our diabetes cell therapy, enhancement of our cancer stem cell program to create new therapies for cancer and the development of additional cell therapies based on our significant know-how and research expertise in this arena."
Novocell's platform technologies -- human embryonic stem cell (hESC) engineering, cell encapsulation and drug discovery -- are designed to address the need for an unlimited supply of specialized human cells for the treatment of a wide range of chronic cellular diseases. The Company has developed a process to efficiently convert hESC into insulin-producing pancreatic endocrine cells. Additionally, its cell encapsulation technology provides a means by which such cells could potentially be delivered to patients without the need for chronic immunosuppression by providing a protective, biocompatible coating for cells that shields them from the immune system. The Company is currently conducting human clinical trials examining the safety and efficacy of subcutaneous implants of encapsulated human primary islet allografts in patients with Type 1 diabetes of long standing duration.
Novocell is a stem cell engineering company with research operations in San Diego, CA, and Athens, GA, dedicated to creating, delivering, and commercializing cell and drug therapies for diabetes and other chronic diseases. Novocell is the first company to efficiently engineer human embryonic stem cells into definitive endoderm, the gatekeeper cells that differentiate into many other cells, tissues and organs. Novocell has three primary technologies: stem cell engineering, cell encapsulation, and drug discovery. The company was founded in 1999 and merged with CyThera and BresaGen in 2004. For more information, visit http://www.novocell.com.
About Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation
Organized in 1973, Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC) is the venture capital subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. JJDC makes private equity investments in venture funded healthcare companies. Portfolio investments include those in the field of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostics and consumer products. For more information, visit http://www.jjdevcorp.com.