BOSTON, Mass. (June 8, 2017) – Platelet BioGenesis, a biotech startup developing a process to produce life-saving human platelets from stem cells for therapeutic applications, announced it has successfully raised $10 million in Series A financing. The round was led by Qiming US Healthcare Fund and included Vivo Capital, VI Ventures, Adena Partners, eCoast Angels, and others.
Platelets are the “band-aids” of the blood and a critical first-line treatment for cancer and surgery. Platelets are currently sourced entirely from human volunteer donors and are a growing $20+B global industry. Platelet BioGenesis is based in Boston and was spun out of the academic labs of Drs. Italiano and Thon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard.
Dr. Jonathan Thon, Co-Founder and incoming CEO of Platelet BioGenesis, stated, “It is difficult to overstate the significance of this investment, and what it means for the future of regenerative medicine. It will allow us to repeat investigational new drug-enabling studies and establish a scalable industrial process to manufacture clinical grade platelets.”
According to Sven Karlsson, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, “The use of platelets is severely limited by a lack of donors, their limited viable shelf-life of two days, and potential bacterial/viral contamination. Replacing the need for a human platelet donor will allow us to provide life-saving platelet transfusions to patients around the world that are safer and more cost effective. We are thrilled to partner with knowledgeable investors and the foremost experts in this field who can bring the full suite of resources to accelerate our growth and make possible this future.”
Mark McDade, Managing Partner at Qiming Ventures, stated, “We are excited to partner with Platelet BioGenesis to realize a shared vision of a platelet supply independent from human donors. The word disruptive is thrown around too often these days, but this technology truly has the potential to reshape the blood industry and positively impact millions of patients.”
Dr. Ed Engleman, Managing Partner at Vivo Capital, added, “Maintaining a sufficient supply of platelets has been a chronic problem for blood bankers ever since we started fractionating blood. Platelet BioGenesis has the potential to finally address this pain point.”
About Platelet BioGenesis (www.plateletbiogenesis.com; twitter @plateletbiogen)
Platelet BioGenesis is a pre-clinical stage biotech company that was spun out the academic labs of Drs. Italiano and Thon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard. In its quest to produce donor-independent human platelets from pluripotent stem cells, Platelet BioGenesis has developed and patented a microfluidic bioreactor and shown that functional platelets can be generated from human stem cell cultures at scale. The company was selected to participate in MassCONNECT (run by MassBio), was a 2014 MassChallenge Finalist, has received support from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center and theNational Institutes of Health.
About Qiming US Healthcare Fund
The Qiming U.S. Healthcare Fund, LP is a new US healthcare venture fund headquartered in Seattle, WA with offices in Palo Alto, CA and Cambridge, MA. As part of a broader family of Qiming venture funds, this new fund seeks to invest in US-based human healthcare companies with potential market opportunities in China. Focused areas of interest are bio-therapeutics, medtech and digital health technologies, with equity investments ranging from $5 to $12 million.
About Vivo Capital
Vivo Capital is a global healthcare focused investment firm formed in 1996 with over $1.8 billion under management. Vivo Capital has offices in Palo Alto, California, Beijing, Shanghai and Taipei. Vivo’s current portfolio includes more than 80 private and public biotechnology companies in the areas of biopharmaceuticals, specialty pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.
More information can be found at www.vivocapital.com.