In January, San Diego-based Poseida Therapeutics eyed a potential $115 million initial public offering to support the development of its CAR-T medicines to treat various blood and solid tumors. The company seems to have scrapped that and instead raised $142 million, with significant support from Novartis.
This morning, the CAR-T drugmaker said Swiss pharma giant Novartis supported the company’s Series C financing round with a $75 million equity investment. For Novartis, which was also the first company in the U.S. to be approved for a CAR-T treatment, the investment in Poseida comes several months after Novartis Chief Executive Officer Vas Narasimhan announced plans at the J.P. Morgan Conference to be on top of the next wave of innovations in gene and cell therapies. Other participants in the round included Aisling Capital Management, Pentwater Capital Management, Perceptive Advisors as well as additional undisclosed institutional investors.
Eric Ostertag, Poseida’s chief executive officer, touted the support from Novartis, a company with a keen focus on cell and gene therapies. Ostertag said the financial support will allow the company to accelerate its pursuit to “create gene therapy product candidates that could result in single-treatment cures for numerous oncologic indications and orphan genetic diseases, with an initial focus on chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapies.”