eGenesis Snags $125 Million for Cross-Species Organ Transplantation Tech
Xenotransplantation company eGenesis raised $125 million in a Series C financing round to drive the company’s lead programs in kidney and islet cell transplant into the clinic. In addition, the funds will be used for the continued development of the company’s proprietary gene-editing platform and scaling of GMP production, the company said.
Paul Sekhri, president and chief executive officer of eGenesis, said he is proud of the progress the company is making in its mission to “help solve the global organ shortage.” The company harnesses cutting-edge gene editing technologies to address the key issues that have impeded xenotransplantation to date.
Xenotransplantation is a cross-species organ replacement, in other words, using gene-edited organs from animals such as pigs to replace human organs. The pig is typically considered the most suitable donor for humans, but eGenesis notes that virology and immunology hurdles prevented the field from advancing beyond early preclinical research.
With the advent of advanced gene-editing technologies, addressing these historical challenges is now within reach, the company said.
“With this financing we are now well positioned to address two of the greatest disease burdens in the U.S. and global healthcare systems,” Sekhri said in a statement.
Cambridge, Mass.-based eGenesis said the demand for lifesaving organs outweighs the number currently available for use in patients. There are more than 110,000 people in the United States who are on the national transplant list. It is estimated that approximately 20 people die every day due to lack of available organs for transplant, and every 10 minutes a new name is added to the national transplant waitlist, eGenesis said.
The Series C financing round was supported by leading investors Farallon Capital Management, Polaris Partners, HBM Healthcare Investments, Invus, Samsara BioCapital, LifeSci Venture Partners, Irving Investors, Catalio Capital Management, SymBiosis, Altium Capital, Monashee Investment Management and Osage University Partners. Existing investors Leaps by Bayer, Fresenius Medical Care Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Wellington Partners, Khosla Ventures and Alta Partners participated in the round.
Srini Akkaraju, founder and managing General Partner at Samsara BioCapital, said eGenesis has developed a scientific platform that will transform transplant medicine.
“We are excited about the progress that eGenesis has made in kidney and islet cell transplant which could address the fast-growing unmet need for patients with kidney failure and type 1 diabetes,” Akkaraju said in a statement.
In conjunction with the closing of the financing, Isaac Ciechanover, M.D., from Polaris Partners, and Mark Pruzanski, founder and former CEO of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, joined the eGenesis Board of Directors.
At the end of 2019, eGenesis secured $100 million in a Series B financing round.