Building synthetic cells to broaden access to advanced diagnostics and therapeutics
Slingshot Biosciences, a biotechnology company building the world’s first on-demand synthetic cell platform, today announced the closing of $23 million in a Series A financing. The investment was led by Northpond Ventures, with participation from ARCH Venture Partners and Anterra Capital. The new funding will enable Slingshot to accelerate the commercialization of its synthetic cell products spanning controls, diagnostics, and adoptive cell therapies. Adam Wieschhaus, PhD, Director at Northpond Ventures, and Corey Ritter, Senior Associate at ARCH Venture Partners, will join the Board of Directors. Slingshot will also invest heavily in its broader adoptive cell therapy and therapeutics platform with this growth financing.
“By eliminating supply chain and technical constraints for cell-derived products, we aim to fundamentally improve the accessibility of key healthcare technologies that have historically been limited to specific markets and indications. We are thrilled to begin commercializing these products in multiple verticals in partnership with investors that have a history of building game-changing technologies,” said Jeffrey Kim, PhD, Founder, CEO, and President of Slingshot.
Cell-derived products comprise the basis of important healthcare technologies worldwide. With respect to diagnostics, 750 blood samples are tested every second in the U.S. alone, and each of these samples relies on cell-derived references for accurate measurement. In addition, unlike most traditional pharmaceutical modalities, adoptive cell therapies critically depend on cell-derived control material, often self-generated, in order to assess manufacturing performance and product quality. Historically, cell-derived reagents have been sourced from donors, both human and animal, to meet these needs, leading to supply chain constraints, high cost, and unwanted variability. Operating in stealth since 2012, Slingshot focused its platform on tackling these issues while achieving key manufacturing milestones before launching its first suite of products in 2020.
“With its highly tunable synthetic cell platform, Slingshot is setting a new standard for control cell production, ensuring even the rarest diseases can be accurately profiled,” said Adam Wieschhaus, PhD, Director at Northpond Ventures. “All of us at Northpond are passionate about working alongside the Slingshot team to make these synthetic cell products easily accessible to address research, diagnostics, and manufacturing needs.”
With this additional financing, Slingshot is aiming its technology at the next generation of adoptive cell therapy tools and therapeutic modalities that can benefit from its synthetic cell engineering platform.
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