Metcela Raises Funds from Two University Venture Capitals
Metcela intends to significantly strengthen its collaboration with Osaka University and Tohoku University in its future development activities through this financing.
Kanagawa, Japan – Metcela Inc. has completed fundraising from Osaka University Venture Capital Co., Ltd. (“OUVC”) and Tohoku University Venture Partners Co., Ltd. (“THVP”). OUVC and THVP are fully owned subsidiaries of Osaka University and Tohoku University, respectively.
The funds raised in this round will enable Metcela to further accelerate the development of its lead asset, MTC001, both in Japan and overseas. With the addition of OUVC and THVP as stakeholders, Metcela plan to actively consider collaboration with Osaka University and Tohoku University in its future pipeline development, as well as aggressively pursue business activities in the Kinki and Tohoku regions.
Metcela also announced today an acquisition of Japan Regenerative Medicine Co., Ltd. (“JRM”) developing autologous cell therapy targeting pediatric congenital heart diseases (JRM-001). For more information on this, please refer to the press release titled ” Metcela acquires Japan Regenerative Medicine Co., Ltd., developing cardiac stem cell-based therapy”.
Comments from Mr. Yosuke Hirai, Osaka University Venture Capital Co., Ltd.
OUVC’s mission is to support the implementation of research results generated at national universities, and we are very pleased that this investment will support further development of Metcela’s product MTC001, which is undergoing investigator-initiated clinical trials at University of Tsukuba. MTC001 holds great promise as an innovative treatment for chronic heart failure, for which there is a huge unmet medical need. We will support Metcela’s business, including strengthening collaborations with academia, so that this product can reach as many patients as possible as soon as possible.
Comments from Mr. Osamu Nakagawa, Tohoku University Venture Partners Co., Ltd.
We decided to invest in Metcela because we have high expectations for the new approach to heart failure treatment using autologous fibroblasts and minimally invasive administration device to regenerate cardiac function. We will assist Metcela on its mission by supporting collaboration with the regenerative medicine research field and related industries in the Tohoku region.
Comments from Kenichi Nogami, Co-founder/ Co-CEO of Metcela Inc.
Our collaboration with OUVC and THVP is an indication of our strong desire to strengthen our ties with Osaka University and Tohoku University and expand our business in respective areas. Through our collaboration with Japan’s leading national universities, we will further up the level of our science and promote clinical development. We will continue to actively engage in open collaboration with different research institutions and companies to provide new treatment options to patients in need.
About Osaka University Venture Capital Co., Ltd. (OUVC)
Osaka University Venture Capital was established in December 2014 with the aim of implementing the world-class research results from national universities into society. We currently operate two investment funds and have invested in over 40 startups. The path from the university research stage to commercialization is long, and we focus on supporting the growth of our portfolio companies by providing risk money and hands-on support, which are difficult for private venture capitals and corporates to supplement, so that excellent research results can be returned to society more quickly and smoothly.
About Tohoku University Venture Partners Co., Ltd. (THVP)
Tohoku University Venture Partners is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tohoku University that supports the commercialization of research results from national universities. The second fund, established in 2020, provides investment and management support to technology startups that utilize research results from national universities in the Tohoku region, Niigata Prefecture, and surrounding areas. Furthermore, we aim to contribute to the revitalization of the regional economy by building a community of technology startups through collaboration among industry, government, academia, and financial institutions in the region.
About Metcela Inc.
Metcela Inc., established in 2016, is a clinical-stage biotechnology startup pioneering the research and development of fibroblast and stem cell-based therapy for chronic diseases that currently have limited therapeutic options. MTC001 is a combination product of autologous cardiac cells (VCAM-1-positive Cardiac Fibroblast, VCF) and a novel catheter delivery system targeting chronic heart failure patients. MTC001 offers two major advantages over other cell therapies: (1) the therapeutic cells are autologous (patient-derived) and homologous (tissue-specific i.e. cardiac-derived), which is most suitable for the heart, as it is a highly immunogenic organ, and (2) the minimally invasive catheter system is equipped with a highly functional injection needle specifically designed for this therapy to achieve reliable and safe administration of the cells.