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29 November, 2021 - 16:13 By Tony Quested

Quell Therapeutics raises $156m in oversubscribed Series B

Quell Therapeutics, which has manufacturing facilities in Stevenage, has secured $156 million growth capital in an oversubscribed Series B round backed by global big hitters.

The financing was co-led by Jeito Capital, Ridgeback Capital Investments, SV Health Investors, Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC – alongside founding investor Syncona – and includes a broad syndicate of international life science focused investors.

New investors include British Patient Capital through its Future Fund: Breakthrough program, Janus Henderson Investors, Monashee Investment Management, Point72 and funds managed by Tekla Capital Management LLC.

The proceeds to be used to fund clinical development of QEL-001 in liver transplantation, to accelerate development of its product pipeline across transplantation, neuroinflammatory and autoimmune diseases, and enhance the company’s multi-modular engineered Treg platform and manufacturing footprint.

Quell is acknowledged as world leader in the development of engineered T-regulatory (Treg) cell therapies for serious medical conditions driven by the immune system. 

Iain McGill, chief executive officer of Quell Therapeutics, said: “Quell is at the forefront of a new wave of cell therapy. We are leading the way with our highly-differentiated, multi-modular approach to Treg therapy engineering and production. 

“We are proud to have the support of this premiere syndicate of investors as we drive forward to our next stage of growth. With this financing, we have the full suite of capabilities – capital, cutting-edge science, and a world-class team – to advance our pipeline and platform to key milestones on our path ultimately to deliver potentially transformative therapies to patients suffering from diseases caused by immune dysregulation.”

Tregs are known as the “master modulators” of immune homeostasis, to create novel cell therapies designed to suppress overactive immune responses, drive long-term tolerance in the local immune environment and promote tissue repair. 

Quell’s versatile platform technology enables the company to design, engineer and manufacture at scale, therapeutic Treg products with greater stability, persistence and potency than earlier generations. 

Key elements of this technology include its proprietary Phenotype-Lock technology, which enables Quell to lock Tregs in an immunosuppressive phenotype that enhances their safety, stability, and efficacy; chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) modules for tissue targeting; and additional modules to enhance disease-specific efficacy and safety.

Quell’s lead candidate QEL-001 is being developed to induce operational tolerance following liver transplantation, with the potential to protect the post-transplant liver without the need for chronic immunosuppressive medications. It is also advancing additional programs in neuroinflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

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