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Ossium Health Secures Series C to Expand Bone Marrow Bank, Advance Clinical Trials to Treat Life-Threatening Blood and Immune Diseases

The funding will accelerate the growth of Ossium’s bone marrow stem cell bank and fuel the advancement of its cell therapy clinical programs.

SAN FRANCISCO, July 25, 2023--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ossium Health, a bioengineering company developing the world's first bank of on-demand bone marrow, today announced a $52 million Series C funding round. The round was led by CPMG, with participation from Vivo Capital, First Round Capital, Manta Ray Ventures, Alumni Ventures, and Asahi Kasei. The company is improving the health, vitality, and longevity of human beings through bioengineering and will deploy this funding to dramatically grow its proprietary bone marrow bank, build on existing clinical trials, and accelerate new product development.

For decades, bone marrow transplants have been used to successfully treat diseases such as leukemias, lymphomas, aplastic anemia, and immune deficiency disorders. But access to this often life-saving treatment is limited by the healthcare industry’s dependence on living, volunteer donors. Nearly half of the 18,000 patients per year who search for a bone marrow donor do not receive a transplant. Ossium has unlocked a new source of stem cells by processing bone marrow from organ donors at scale. The company’s proprietary recovery, processing, and cryopreservation methods increase the accessibility of treatment and can deliver them months faster than traditional options.

"Over the last seven decades, more than 1.5 million patients with hematologic malignancies have received life-saving bone marrow transplants, yet only a fraction of the clinical potential of this procedure has been realized," said Kevin Caldwell, CEO & Co-Founder of Ossium Health. "Ossium has unlocked a vast, new source of bone marrow that can be deployed and infused within days, rather than the 3-4 months it typically takes to obtain stem cells from living volunteers. Bringing this solution to scale will create an agile, fast-acting, and more effective blood cancer treatment paradigm."

Ossium works with Organ Procurement Organizations (OPOs) that represent just over half of all organ donors in the U.S. to recover viable vertebral bodies for bone marrow and orthopedic donations. Ossium’s revolutionary recovery process ensures that the bone marrow is phenotypically and functionally equivalent to cells from living donors. The product is then cryopreserved and stored indefinitely until requested by a treating physician. This process has enabled Ossium to create the world’s first bone marrow bank at industrial scale.

"Organ Procurement Organizations like ours act as the steward of the donor and their family. Ossium’s solution allows donors to extend their gift to make an even bigger impact," said Suzanne Conrad, CEO of Iowa Donor Network. "We trust Ossium Health, which is a necessary foundation for a partnership like ours with so much at stake. We know that each donation is going to save lives and advance the study of bone marrow transplants and cell research."

Ossium's near-term focus is to apply these stem cells in hematologic malignancy treatments, where their product will provide an alternative treatment option for patients that may be unable to find a match in the traditional living donation model. Ossium is also developing cell therapies to lower the risk of rejection in patients undergoing organ transplants. The company is working with investigators at Columbia University Medical Center on a Phase I intestinal transplant study, and is actively researching applications in other areas of organ transplant such as kidney and liver.

"I was immediately attracted to research using bone marrow cells from Ossium’s bank — both preclinically and now in the upcoming clinical trials," said Dr. Markus Mapara, Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and the Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation (BMT) program at Columbia University Medical Center. "These cells are just as viable for bone marrow transplant as cells from a living donor, and speeding up the bone marrow transplant process will limit the likelihood of disease progression or infection that can eliminate transplantation as an option. These cells will provide much needed flexibility to physicians and their patients."

"Biomedical innovations can take decades to make a real-world impact. But in just seven years, Ossium is already conducting clinical trials and scaling its marrow bank. It’s rare that you have a company like Ossium that can do so much good so quickly," said Bill Trenchard, managing partner at First Round Capital and Ossium Health board member. "We’re proud to support this company that is uniquely positioned to solve a detrimental shortage and that has plans to expand research into other life-saving cell therapies."

This round of funding will also support the launch of Ossigraft™, an orthopedic product for the repair, replacement, and reconstruction of musculoskeletal defects. This product is derived from the same vertebral bodies as Ossium's other products, and provides another opportunity to honor the precious gift of donated tissue. This product is slated to enter the clinic in the second half of 2023.

To learn more about Ossium Health visit: www.ossiumhealth.com.

About Ossium Health

Ossium Health is a bioengineering company that leverages its proprietary organ donor bone marrow banking platform to develop stem cell therapies for patients with life-threatening blood and immune diseases. Founded in 2016, the company is led by Kevin Caldwell, its CEO, Co-Founder & President, and Erik Woods, its Chief Science Officer, Co-Founder & EVP. Ossium Health is an FDA-Registered Tissue Bank, is accredited by the Commission on Office Laboratory Accreditation (COLA), and its laboratory is certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA).

About Iowa Donor Network

Iowa Donor Network (IDN) is a federally certified organization that operates as the primary contact for organ, tissue and eye donation services for the state of Iowa. Iowa Donor Network strives to provide the best possible care to donor families, facilitate the recovery of organs and tissues, and educate the communities it serves. IDN continues to have a positive impact on the communities it serves by facilitating the Gift of Life for those in need.

About First Round Capital

First Round Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm that helps startups like Notion, Roblox, Uber, and Square tackle company building firsts. Whether it’s pre-seed, seed or Series A, the First Round team is focused on building the world’s best product for founders who are just getting started. From tailored programs and a vibrant community, to custom-built software and content that serves up unique company building advice, the firm connects early teams with the expertise and resources they need to make their first hires, build their first product and find their first customers. Learn more at firstround.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20230711878111/en/

Contacts

Geney Kim
Ossium Health, Inc.
415-513-5535
press@ossiumhealth.com