Semma Therapeutics has closed an oversubscribed $114 million Series B round to help fund the development of its encapsulated stem cell-derived islet therapy for Type I diabetes.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based company reported that it plans to use the newly-acquired funds to bring its cell therapy through clinical proof-of-concept studies, as well as explore other regenerative medicine therapies.
Eight Roads Ventures and Cowen Healthcare Investments co-led the round. Existing investors and partners also participated, including Novartis (NYSE:NVS), Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and the JDRF T1D Fund.
“We are now well positioned, between Semma’s scientific progress and this recent financing, to bring Semma’s lead therapeutic through clinical proof of concept in patients with Type 1 diabetes, while we expand into related arenas and build a leading regenerative medicine company,” chairman Dr. Mark Fishman said in prepared remarks. “We’re delighted that this accomplished group of investors share our mission to cure insulin-dependent diabetes.”
Semma Therapeutics has shown in preclinical studies that its stem cell-derived beta cells perform comparatively to beta cells within human islets as a way to control diabetes both in vitro and in vivo.
“I’m very pleased and impressed to see how far the science has progressed at Semma; what the team has accomplished from a development perspective on both the biology side and engineering side is remarkable,” founder & board observer Douglas Melton added.
“Semma’s scientists have very effectively dedicated themselves to systems that reliably generate cells indistinguishable from human pancreatic beta cells and to the invention of novel devices that are immunologically protective and surgically practical. We’re very encouraged and excited about the potential this program has for diabetic patients and their families.”
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