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Quell Therapeutics Raises $156 Million in Oversubscribed Series B Financing to Advance its Pioneering Multi-Modular Engineered T Regulatory (Treg) Cell Therapy Pipeline and Platform

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Quell Therapeutics Raises $156 Million in Oversubscribed Series B Financing to Advance its Pioneering Multi-Modular Engineered T Regulatory (Treg) Cell Therapy Pipeline and Platform | Pharmtech Focus

Quell Therapeutics Ltd (“Quell”), the world leader in the development of engineered T-regulatory (Treg) cell therapies for serious medical conditions driven by the immune system, today announced it has raised $156 million in an oversubscribed Series B financing. The financing round was co-led by Jeito Capital, Ridgeback Capital Investments, SV Health Investors and Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC with participation from founding investor Syncona. New investors include British Patient Capital through its Future Fund: Breakthrough program, Janus Henderson Investors, Monashee Investment Management, Point72 and funds managed by Tekla Capital Management LLC.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to:

  • Fund the LIBERATE Phase 1/2 clinical trial of QEL-001, a first-in-class antigen-specific multi-modular CAR-Treg cell therapy candidate designed to prevent organ rejection in liver transplant patients by inducing durable immune tolerance and eliminating the need for lifelong immunosuppression. QEL-001 is on-track to become the first multi-modular engineered CAR-Treg cell therapy in clinical development, with patient recruitment expected to begin before the end of the year.
  • Advance Quell’s pipeline in core therapeutic areas of transplantation, neuroinflammatory diseases and autoimmune diseases
  • Accelerate the development of Quell’s autologous multi-modular engineered Treg platform, and further develop an allogeneic CAR-Treg platform

“Quell is at the forefront of a new wave of cell therapy. We are leading the way with our highly-differentiated, multi-modular approach to Treg therapy engineering and production,” said Iain McGill, Chief Executive Officer of Quell Therapeutics. “We are proud to have the support of this premiere syndicate of investors as we drive forward to our next stage of growth. With this financing, we have the full suite of capabilities – capital, cutting-edge science, and a world-class team – to advance our pipeline and platform to key milestones on our path ultimately to deliver potentially transformative therapies to patients suffering from diseases caused by immune dysregulation.”

Quell is harnessing the full power of Tregs, known as the “master modulators” of immune homeostasis, to create novel cell therapies designed to suppress overactive immune responses, drive long-term tolerance in the local immune environment and promote tissue repair. Quell’s versatile platform technology enables the Company to design, engineer and manufacture at scale, therapeutic Treg products with greater stability, persistence and potency than earlier generations. Key elements of this technology include its proprietary Phenotype-Lock technology, which enables Quell to “lock” Tregs in an immunosuppressive phenotype that enhances their safety, stability, and efficacy; chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modules for tissue targeting; and additional modules to enhance disease-specific efficacy and safety.

In connection with the financing, Rachel Mears (Partner at Jeito Capital), Jeffrey Long-McGie (Managing Director at Ridgeback Capital) and Houman Ashrafian (Managing Partner at SV Health Investors) joined Quell’s Board of Directors.

Martin Murphy, CEO of Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: “In 2019, Syncona co-founded Quell bringing together pioneering science from leading UK and European universities, with the ambition to develop first-in-class therapies in the ground-breaking Treg field offering the potential to make a real difference to the lives of patients. Since then, the progress made by the Quell team, led by Iain McGill, is remarkable. The business has moved from concept-to-clinic in under three years – we are excited to see its pioneering lead program enter the clinic this year.

“This financing underlines the progress the company has made to date and the scale of its ambition. Supported by a strong syndicate of global investors, the business will be able to progress its lead program and pipeline, whilst building scalable manufacturing capabilities, as it seeks to entrench its leadership position in an emerging field of innovative medicine.”

Rafaèle Tordjman, Founder and CEO at Jeito, said: “Our investment in Quell is testament of our ambition to continue building a strong portfolio of companies with the potential of becoming market leaders. Following the recent closing of our first fund, Jeito I, at $630 million, we are pleased to have co-led this financing round alongside many prestigious investors in the US and the UK. With its high-quality science, expert leadership team, strong syndicate of investors and significant capital, Quell is ideally positioned to accelerate its therapies through clinical development for the benefit of millions of patients.”

Dr. Wayne Holman, Founder & CEO of Ridgeback Capital, said: “The ability to modulate the T regulatory cell has the potential to advance medicine into a new age of possibility.  We at Ridgeback are proud to help provide the resources to advance this crucial work.  The technology this dedicated and talented team at Quell has developed may transform autoimmune diseases as well as facilitate organ transplant without the need for lifelong immunosuppression. This is an impossible dream that we believe the scientists and team at Quell can transform into a reality.”

“As a leader in Treg cell therapies engineering for serious medical conditions, Quell is ultimately driving development of potentially transformative therapies to address diseases driven by the immune system with major unmet medical needs,” said Houman Ashrafian, Managing Partner of SV Health Investors. “SV is excited to co-lead the company’s latest funding round and we look forward to working closely with Quell’s leadership team as they progress clinical development of QEL-001, build out its product pipeline and enhance its Treg platform.”

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