15 November 2017, Shanghai, China. 6 Dimensions Capital announced that it has accomplished its investment in Gracell Biotechnologies Limited’s (followed as “Gracell Bio”) A round fund raising, which indicates that 6 Dimensions Capital, as one of the largest biopharma ventures in China, has allocated its first layout in the cell therapy industry.
Recently, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Novartis’s and Kite Pharma’s CAR-T cell therapies, which accelerated the development of the cell therapy industry and boosted the interest of ventures in the field. 6 Dimensions Capital also made its first investment – Gracell Bio, which is just incorporated in the middle of this year.
Gracell Bio is a cell based therapy R&D and service company, which is founded by Dr. William Cao, a cell industry veteran and co-founder and former CEO of a Nasdaq listed biotechnology company. Gracell Bio has a team of CAR-T cell therapy industry veteran and scientists with illuminant track record and also extensive industry resources to facilitate the implementation and future industrialization.
Dr. William Cao, Founder of Gracell Bio
Before establishing Gracell Bio, Dr. William Cao was the investment partner of Frontline BioVentures. Dr. William Cao has more than 30 years professional experience in scientific research, products development and startups. He was the co-founder and CEO of Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc., a Nasdaq listed company (Nasdaq: CBMG) and served as China General Manager of Affymetrix, a world leader in genetic analysis industry. Under Dr. William Cao’s leadership, CBMG established state-of-art cGMP cell manufacture facility and became the only China cell therapy biotechnology company listed in Nasdaq. Dr. William Cao earned a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine from Fudan University Medical College, Shanghai, China and a PhD degree in Pharmacology from Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Cao had conducted extensive research in immune-pharmacology field at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University Medical Center.
Gracell Bio will use its own new CAR-T technologies, industrial advantages and the team’s implementation to concur current CAR-T cell therapy challenges such as high cost, no off-the-shelf product, ineffective for solid tumors, unable-to-prevent side effect by monitoring the CAR protein expression in the patient’s body in real time and etc.; so as to highly increase its CART practicability and market potential. The company plans to continue developing and bringing in latest technologies as so to expand its platform advantages. In addition, the company will also develop stem cell therapy for regenerative medicine and use its existing resources to provide cell banking services and cell/gene therapy CRO/CMO services.
6 Dimensions Capital founding managing partner and CEO, Dr. Lianyong Chen says, “We believe in the future of the cell therapy industry and we always wanted a leader who has strong academic expertise, extensive industry background, and comprehensive company management experiences to enter this rapidly developing industry. We know Dr. William Cao for many years and we are very much honored to have Dr. William Cao to join in us as an investment partner last year. We are very confident in Gracell Bio’s R&D and clinical direction and the team’s execution capacity, and so we make the investment at the initial stage of the company. We are also expecting more and more industry leaders to join in us. We will support them to establish innovative companies in new fields and to empower their startups.”
Gracell Bio founder, board director and CEO, Dr. William Cao says, “Cell therapy technology has become one of the pillar industries of modern medicine. The approval of Novartis and Kite’s CART therapy is just the beginning of this industry. Huge business opportunities are there, waiting. Gracell Bio has cutting edge technologies and is aimed at solving current CAR-T problems. I was interested in immunological pharmacology and cell therapy when I was at school and I was very lucky to have opportunity to take part in product development, company establishment, IPO and other business matters later on. Gracell Bio is privileged to have 6 Dimensions Capital’s trust and support. Gracell Bio is already progressing international leading CAR-T technologies and will soon start clinical trials. Please stay tuned!”