NEW YORK – Umoja Biopharma on Tuesday said it closed a $210 million Series B financing round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Cormorant Asset Management.
New investors that participated in the round included RTW Investments, Temasek, Presight Capital, Caas Capital, and an unnamed investment fund associated with SVB Leerink. The firm's existing investors also participated, including MPM Capital, DCVC Bio, Qiming Venture Partners USA, Casdin Capital, The Emerson Collective, and Alexandria Venture Investments.
Seattle-based Umoja plans to use the funding to advance its in vivo CAR T-cell immunotherapies: TumorTag UB-TT170 for folate receptor-expressing solid tumors and VivoVec UB-VV100 for CD19-positive hematological cancers. Umoja uses three drug engineering and delivery platforms to develop its products: the VivoVec in vivo delivery platform, the RACR/CAR in vivo cell expansion and control platform, and the TumorTag targeting platform.
Umoja is currently studying UB-TT170 in pediatric osteosarcoma and developing UB-VV100 for B-cell malignancies. Both drugs are currently in preclinical studies, and Umoja hopes to advance them into clinical development with the latest funding. The firm is also advancing six other candidates using its TumorTag platform.
Umoja will also use the financing to build internal manufacturing capabilities to support product development and expand manufacturing operations to a site in Boulder, Colorado.
"Umoja's fully integrated approach is capable of engineering a patient's own immune system to attack and destroy tumors with a simplicity and cost that enables widespread implementation," Ryan Crisman, Umoja cofounder and chief technical officer, said in a statement. "We believe our team is well positioned to deliver on the next wave of immuno-oncology therapies, providing transformative benefits as well as improving access to all patients."
Umoja launched last November with a $53 million Series A funding round. The treatments the company is developing are based on research from Seattle Children's Research Institute and Purdue University.