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Be Biopharma Nets $130M Investment to Advance B-Cell Therapies to Clinic

NEW YORK – Be Biopharma said on Thursday that it has raised $130 million in a Series B financing round, which it will put toward advancing its pipeline of engineered B-cell therapies, including for cancer.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm — which was founded in October 2020 — is developing both autologous and allogeneic B-cell medicines, dubbed BeCM, as treatments for rare diseases and cancer. The firm believes that engineering B cells could have the potential to lead to durable responses, and perhaps with fewer toxicities since the treatment would not need to be administered in combination with preconditioning therapy. 

With the financing, Be Bio plans to advance its oncology pipeline candidates toward investigational new drug applications.

The recent Series B financing round brings the firm's total investment to $180 million. The round was led by ARCH Venture Partners with participation from Bristol Myers Squibb as well as new investors. Existing investors Atlas Venture, RA Capital Management, Alta Partners, Longwood Fund, and Takeda Ventures also participated.

"The human B cell produces thousands of proteins per second," Be Bio CEO Joanne Smith-Farrell said in a statement. "Be Bio is harnessing this remarkable cell to engineer a new class of cellular medicines that produce durable therapeutic proteins in vivo with the potential ability to dose titrate, and re-dose when required, without the need for toxic preconditioning."

Along with the financing, Be Bio also announced Thursday that ARCH Venture Partners Managing Director Steven Gillis will join Be Bio's board of directors.