CAR-T Startup Gets €51M from Top&New Investors

autolus ucl car t series b fundraising

Autolus (UK) has secured over €51M in a recent series B round, led by the biggest Biotech VC in Europe – and a new player in life science investment.


Autolus is a 1-year-old spin-off of the University College London (UCL) focusing on the development of next-generation CAR-T therapies, addressing current limitations of this ‘wonder therapy‘.

I tried figuring out what exactly Autolus is doing. It doesn’t disclose so much of its scientific strategy, but whatever the strategy is, it seems to have investors convinced. This Biopharma has now raised around €51.2M (£40M) in a series B round.

Part of the money comes from Woodford, arguably the most influential investor in European Life Sciences (and n°1 on our VC Top15).

Other investor is Perceptive Bioscience, its first investment since the opening of the fund in London last February. It is led by some key figures in the industry, including a former partner from Abingworth (another top VC) and a former CFO of Amgen and Novartis.

Autolous was founded in early 2015, by UCL Business and Syncona (which committed £30M to the company). UCL Business is the technology transfer arm of University College London, involved in projects like the Pharma-Academia bridge ‘Apollo’. And Syncona (the Wellcome trust’s investment arm) invested in the early stage of promising start-ups like Desktop Genetics (CRISPR meets informatics) and Cambridge Epigenetix (the next Illumina for epigenetics).

Founders and investors in Autolus.

This new money will be used to advance the pre-clinical candidates Autolus is working on, as well as developing its platform of T-cell programming. According to Biopharma Reporter, the funds could also be used to help this Biopharma to control its supply chain, and be less vulnerable to external factors and intellectual property stealing (it is not alone in struggling with this part of the business).

It’s pretty impressive to see such a young Startup raising as much money from top investors. This gives it the resources to become a key player in the CAR-T field in Europe, and in the rest of the world.


Featured image credit: University College London (CC 2.0 Steve Cadman)

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