Celyad (formerly known as Cardio3 BioSciences), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the identification and development of specialized cell based therapies, has raised €40.1 million in a global offering, which could help the company keep up with large competitors amidst recent large acquisitions in the CAR-T space.
Headquartered in Mont-Saint-Guibert (Belgium), Celyad has raised substantial funding to support its CAR-T cell therapy, which can be applied to both solid and blood tumors. CYAD-01, its most advanced drug candidate, is currently in Phase I trials. The funding could help Celyad keep up with other CAR-T developers.
For example, Celyad’s major competitor in off-the-shelf CAR-T therapies, Cellectis, had already entered clinical trials for its technology before Celyad and has partnered with Servier and Pfizer.
Big pharmaceutical companies are also becoming increasingly interested in CAR-T therapies. Last year, Gilead acquired Kite Pharma for a jaw-dropping €11 billion. Earlier this year, Juno Therapeutics was acquired by Celgene for €7.4 billion. While Cellectis stock rose by 12 % in the wake of the acquisition, Celyad did not enjoy a similar boost.
However, Celyad has been actively seeking support from big industry players. Last year, the company entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with Novartis worth up to €88 million to give the pharma company access to its cell therapy patents. The current funding could give Celyad the boost it needs to keep up with competitors.