cellvie Inc., which works on therapeutic mitochondria transplantation (TMT), an approach developed at Harvard Medical School, has closed a $5.5 million financing to get Series A-ready by the end of 2023.
Mitochondria dysfunction has been tied to a host of diseases, ranging from neurodegenerative ailments, heart attacks and strokes, to age-related degeneration.
“Whilst mitochondria have been known as disease targets for a long time, treating them has proven challenging,” said James McCully, co-founder of cellvie and inventor of TMT.
McCully turned to transplanting viable mitochondria to reinvigorate cell energy metabolism, which was impaired due to ischemia, an undersupply of oxygen that arises in medical conditions such as heart attacks or stroke and during organ transplantation.
Mitochondria as medicine
“Given the insights gained and treatment successes shown by my scientific co-founders, we have always viewed mitochondria as a potential new category of medicines,” said Alexander Schueller, co-founder and CEO of cellvie.
“To realize the modality’s potential, we have therefore focused our efforts over the past two years on scalable productization – developing an allogeneic off-the-shelf product – and research on new therapeutic applications of mitochondria – such as in gene therapy delivery and aging related degeneration.”
With this additional funding, cellvie intends to accelerate and expand the scientific development of its mitochondria platform and to further strengthen the organizational foundations in preparation for the Series A.
Schueller said that “while many companies need to conserve cash and slow down shortly before raising their next round of funding, we are now in the position to speed up and form an even stronger basis to immediately and efficiently put the Series A funding to work.”
Taiho Ventures LLC joins Kizoo Technology Capital as one of cellvie’s primary investors and will take a board seat to help the company realize its ambitions.
cellvie plans to start raising its Series A in 2023. The proceeds will be used for establishing a GMP grade production, completing a phase I clinical trial in the first indication, and to continue the development of prioritized pipeline assets.
Founded in the U.S. and operationally headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, cellvie is developing medicines from cells, leveraging the therapeutic potential of mitochondria.