CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwired - April 04, 2017) - Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel approaches to cell therapy, announced today that it has closed a $12 million Series A investment round. The financing was co-led by Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund USA, Inc. (BIVF USA) and BioInnovation Capital, and joined by Chiesi Ventures, MBL Venture Capital Co., Ltd, and Mass Medical Angels. The Series A round will be used to fund initial clinical development of Sentien's SBI-101 for the treatment of acute kidney injury (AKI).
SBI-101 is a combination product that combines mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) within an approved blood-filtration device, allowing for controlled, sustained delivery of MSC-secreted factors. SBI-101 offers two major advantages over traditional cell therapy: (1) The duration of cellular therapeutic activity is extended significantly by housing the MSCs in an extracorporeal device and (2) The MSC dosage limitations encountered during injection or intravenous infusion are overcome.
"Sentien has made remarkable progress in the short period of time since our seed investment and is ready to advance its first product, SBI-101, into the clinic," said Martin Heidecker, Ph.D., managing director of BIVF, USA. "We are excited to build on this momentum, along with the other leading investors in this Series A financing."
"Sentien brings a skilled team and unique approach to regenerative medicine," said Johannes Fruehauf, M.D., Ph.D., general partner of BioInnovation Capital. "We look forward to working with Sentien to support its first clinical program and prepare the company for accelerated growth."
In conjunction with the financing, Johannes Fruehauf and Giacomo Chiesi, M.B.A., will join Sentien's board of directors. Richard Ganz, M.B.A., and Martin Heidecker will continue to serve on the Sentien board, with Mr. Ganz serving as chairman.
"We are excited to have the support of such an accomplished group of investors," said Brian Miller, CEO of Sentien, who will be speaking at the Stem Cell Summit in Boston on April 7th. "We are now poised to move our lead product into the clinic, where we have the opportunity to treat AKI, a significant unmet medical need, and to continue to develop new applications for our novel approach to cell therapy."
About Sentien Biotechnologies
Sentien Biotechnologies, Inc. is a privately owned, clinical stage company developing novel approaches to cell therapy. Its lead product combines mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) within an approved blood-filtration device, allowing for controlled, sustained delivery of MSC secreted factors. This product is being tested to treat systemic inflammatory diseases where MSCs can condition blood continuously during an acute illness.
Sentien has received numerous SBIR awards from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and obtained a seed round of financing in August of 2015.
In the fall of 2016, Boehringer Ingelheim named Sentien its first LabCentral Golden Ticket winner. The Golden Ticket program enables high-level sponsors to underwrite the cost of a lab bench for a scientist to reside in the innovative, shared laboratory space for one year.
About Boehringer Ingelheim Venture Fund
Created in 2010, the Venture Fund GmbH (BIVF) invests in groundbreaking therapeutics-focused biotechnology companies to drive innovation in biomedical research. BIVF is searching for significant enhancements in patient care through pioneering science and its clinical translation by building long-term relationships with scientists and entrepreneurs. BIVF's focus is to target unprecedented therapeutic concepts addressing high medical needs in immuno-oncology, in regenerative medicine or gene therapy. These may include novel platform technologies to address so far undrugable targets, new generation vaccines and/or new biological entities, such as oncolytic virotherapy.
BIVF takes an active role with its portfolio companies -- delivering significant added value through its own extensive drug discovery, scientific and managerial expertise. The BIVF has EUR100 million under management and supervises currently a portfolio of 15 active companies.
For more information, please visit www.boehringer-ingelheim-venture.com.
About BioInnovation Capital
BioInnovation Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in the most-promising life-science companies, which operate out of a network of shared laboratory facilities in several cities across the US. LabCentral, the preeminent co-working laboratory for life-science startups in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is home to Sentien.
For more information, please visit www.bioinnovation.co.
About Chiesi Ventures
Chiesi Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on the area of rare and orphan disorders. Its goal is to complement the strategic interest of the Chiesi Group by investing in early-stage development opportunities. Chiesi Ventures also aims to accelerate the expansion of the Chiesi network in the US and EU among universities, venture capital investors, rare disease patient organizations and entrepreneurial companies developing treatments for rare diseases.
For more information, please visit www.chiesiventures.com.
About MBL Venture Capital Co., Ltd
MBL Venture Capital Co. Ltd. (mblVC) was established in 2000 as the subsidiary of Medical & Biological Laboratories Co., Ltd., one of the leading biotechnology companies in Japan. mblVC has invested in breakthrough companies in the life science field since its inception both in North America and in Japan. With a focus on biopharmaceuticals, drug discoveries, therapeutic instruments and regenerative medicine, mblVC primarily invests in start-up and early stage venture companies, including university and research institute-launched ventures. mblVC is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.
For more information, please visit www.mblvc.co.jp.
About Mass Medical Angels
Mass Medical Angels (MA2) is a seed stage investor group exclusively focused on life science and healthcare investments. They provide financing and mentoring to early-stage life-science companies so that these companies can obtain further funding, reach positive cash-flows or get acquired.