Encellin announced today that it closed a $9.9 million financing round to support its cell encapsulation platform.
The San Francisco-based company develops an encapsulated cell replacement therapy (EnCRT). It isolates therapeutic cells from the body’s immune system to help therapeutic cells survive in the body. Once implanted, cells within the EnCRT can exchange biomolecules with the body, which could provide a therapeutic benefit and function as a living medicine.
Encellin has its focus centered around type 1 diabetes as the first treatment area for the EnCRT. Preclinical data with the company’s first candidate reported no fibrosis or immune response while maintaining cell viability and function. The company said preclinical data also demonstrated that primary islets in the EnCRT could reverse type 1 diabetes. This approach to treating diabetes bears some similarities to Sernova and its diabetes-treating Cell Pouch System.
According to a news release, the company plans to use funds to advance a Phase I clinical trial evaluating its EnCRT. Encellin expects first-in-human data next year. Other uses for the funds include team expansion and further technology development.
“This new financing led by Khosla Ventures, enables us to advance development of our cell encapsulation platform, which aims to provide years of therapeutic benefit with a single implant. The technology can be used in a variety of different indications, beginning with chronic endocrine disorders,” said Crystal Nyitray, CEO & co-founder, Encellin. “Using advanced nanotechnology and bioengineering, we have developed biocompatible materials into permeable, soft pouches designed to support cell function. We look forward to advancing the use of our EnCRT loaded with primary islet to enable responsive insulin delivery for patients with high-risk T1D.”