SEATTLE, Nov. 29, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nohla Therapeutics Inc. (Nohla), a biotechnology company pioneering the field of universal donor cellular therapies for treating patients with life threatening hematological disorders and cancers, today announced the initial closing of a $43.5M Series A financing round. The transaction was led by new investor ARCH Venture Partners and included participation from 5AM Ventures and existing investor, the Jagen Group. The proceeds from the financing will support the Company’s two lead programs (NLA-101 and NLA-102) generated by Nohla’s novel technology platform, which was spun-out of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (The Hutch) in September 2015. The Series A round brings the total financing obtained since the Company’s inception to $64.6M. As part of the transaction, Dr. Steven Gillis, a Managing Director at ARCH Venture Partners, and Dr. Brian Daniels, a Venture Partner at 5AM Ventures, will join the Nohla Board of Directors as Chairman and Director respectively.
"The closing of this round is an important milestone for the Company as we transition to the next stage of growth. The funding provides sufficient capital to advance our two lead programs through randomized, controlled clinical trials, under the direction of Nohla founder and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Colleen Delaney. Furthermore, we are extremely pleased to welcome top-tier healthcare investors to the syndicate and are excited to have Drs. Gillis and Daniels join our Board as they bring exceptional industry and strategic guidance to the management team,” commented Michael Sistenich, interim Chief Executive Officer of Nohla Therapeutics.
Nohla is utilizing over twenty years of bench to bedside research conducted at The Hutch to develop a novel technology platform enabling the ex vivo expansion and directed differentiation of cord blood stem/progenitor cells resulting in “off the shelf” universal donor cellular therapies. To date, over 100 patients have been treated across multiple clinical studies using Nohla’s one-of-a kind product(s) which can be used on demand, without the need for HLA matching, and which can promote hematopoietic and immune cell recovery in patients at risk for neutropenia and infection after intensive chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment for critical diseases. All other ex vivo expanded hematopoietic stem cell therapies are dependent on HLA-matching, and therefore require identification of a patient specific donor source of stem cells for expansion. In contrast, Nohla’s expanded stem cell products can be manufactured and cryopreserved prior to clinical need, and are immediately available for patients. Nohla is currently evaluating these “off the shelf” cryopreserved expanded cell products in a multi-center, randomized open label Phase IIb study in the setting of myeloablative cord blood transplant. In addition, the Company plans to evaluate its product in a Phase II randomized study in the setting of high dose chemotherapy for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML).
“The entire team at ARCH is excited to lead this round of investment in Nohla. We have been impressed with early clinical results from Dr. Delaney’s pioneering research and believe that Nohla technology has the potential to help patients suffering from a variety of critical diseases. I look forward to working with the management team to facilitate progress across the clinical and corporate development fronts,” commented Dr. Steven Gillis, Managing Director at ARCH Venture Partners.
About Nohla Therapeutics
Nohla Therapeutics Inc. (Nohla) is a clinical stage developer of universal donor cellular therapies for the treatment of patients with life threatening hematological disorders. The Company is leveraging a platform technology developed over the past two decades at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center which enables the ex vivo expansion and directed differentiation of cord blood stem/progenitor cells resulting in “off the shelf” universal donor cellular therapies. These products can be used on demand without the need for HLA matching and promote hematopoietic recovery in patients at risk for neutropenia after intensive chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment for critical diseases. Currently, hematopoietic stem cell transplant remains the only proven cure for many hematologic malignancies. Nohla is evaluating these “off the shelf” cryopreserved, expanded cell products in several clinical settings including two lead programs: NLA-101, a multi-center, randomized open label Phase IIb study in the setting of myeloablative cord blood transplant and NLA-102, a multi-center, randomized global Phase II study in the setting of high dose chemotherapy for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML).
About ARCH Venture Partners
ARCH Venture Partners, one of the largest early stage technology venture firms in the U.S., invests in seed and early stage advanced technology companies. ARCH enjoys special recognition as a leader in the commercialization of technologies developed at academic institutions, corporate research labs and national laboratories. ARCH has earned a reputation as one of the leading venture firms in early stage biotechnology, advanced materials, alternative energy, and specialty semiconductors, and is known for identifying and capitalizing early on fundamental trends in disruptive technology. Now in its 30th year, ARCH has over $2 billion in committed capital through nine venture funds, and has co-founded and provided initial investments for over 200 companies, including Illumina, Juno Therapeutics, Receptos, Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Ikaria and Agios Pharmaceuticals.
About 5AM Ventures
5AM Ventures is a leading venture capital firm focused on building next-generation life science companies capable of delivering outstanding returns to our investors. We support companies solving important healthcare needs via cutting-edge breakthroughs in medicine and science. Our portfolio companies spearhead novel approaches to diagnose, prevent and treat a wide range of medical conditions.
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