Metcela Inc. Completes the Series C Financing of Total $14 Million | Metcela Inc.
Total of $14 million (1.87 billion JPY) was raised in the Series C round, and cumulative $35 million (4.6 billion JPY, including grants) has been raised to date. Metcela is aiming to create new therapeutic options for heart failure by establishing an ecosystem for autologous cell therapy.
Kanagawa, Japan- Metcela, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing first-in-class autologous cell therapies targeting serious cardiovascular diseases, today announced the closing of a $14 million Series C round. The financing was led by CYBERDYNE Inc. and CEJ Fund (the Cybernics Excellence Japan Fund 1 Investment Limited Partnership) operated by CYBERDYNE Inc.’s subsidiary, with participation from Japan Lifeline Co., Ltd., Sony Innovation Fund and Reazon Holdings, Inc.
With this financing, Metcela will further expand the business ecosystems and infrastructure for autologous regenerative medicine products.
<About This Round>
Metcela has been working on the development of its lead cardiac fibroblast-based autologous cell therapy for heart failure treatment since its establishment in 2016. Additionally, Metcela acquired Japan Regenerative Medicine Co., Ltd. (JRM), also developing cardiac stem cell-based autologous therapy for pediatric congenital heart disease, in April 2022, to further reinforce the autologous cell therapy portfolios. Metcela’s strong belief in minimally invasive and autologous treatment, not requiring immunosuppressive agents and prolonged hospitalization, is attracting more attention during global pandemic that the world have faced for the past 2 years.
In light of these circumstances, Metcela has conducted this fundraising in order to advance the establishment of a commercial manufacturing infrastructure for autologous products, and to further accelerate the research and development of other pipelines.
<Use of Funds>
Preparation for commercialization through establishment of manufacturing infrastructure
In preparation for the initiation of next clinical trials and commercialization of MTC001 and JRM-001, Metcela will strengthen its product manufacturing capabilities in cooperation with external partners. In addition, Metcela plans to start regulatory communications for the overseas and potential global clinical trials. Metcela will also work on the development of a drastically upgraded manufacturing process for autologous products to significantly reduce the manufacturing costs.
Strengthening new pipeline development capabilities
Metcela aims to further accelerate R&D efforts for existing clinical pipelines and seed technologies by first expanding the execution team. Metcela will also continue to strengthen its relationship with academic partners and medical community in the areas of basic research to have better understanding of and explore new applicable indications for its fibroblast-based technologies as well as newly added cardiac stem cell pipeline.
Reinforcement of R&D structure by expanding research facilities
Metcela plans to establish a new R&D base in Cyberdyne’s Cybernics A Building, currently under construction in KING SKYFRONT in Tonomachi, Kawasaki. By introducing the latest research equipment and cell processing facilities, Metcela will be able to significantly expand its research and development capabilities of its own seed technology and manufacturing process.
<About Investors of This Round>
About CYBERDYNE Inc.
The Group aims to realize Society 5.0/5.1, a new vision of society based on Techno-Peer Support. To realize this society, the Group works to create an industry based on innovative Cybernics Technology capable of fusing “humans” and cyberspace (virtual world)/physical space (real world). The foundation of Cybernics Technology is the Internet of Humans/Internet of Things (“IoH/IoT”), Robots, and AI. The technology connects various fields such as medicine, nursing-care, production, and other workplaces with households. The Group aims to create a new industry based on this technology to solve various problems that exist in our society today. The Group’s business has a unique advantage in accessing and integrating information inside the human body (such as Brain-nerve and vital systems) and information outside the human body (such as behavioral, life, and environmental). The information obtained will be sent to a supercomputer for analysis and AI Processing to discover innovative solutions to social problems. The Group simultaneously works on research and development, business development, and business alliances to establish such a system that could realize the future society of Society 5.0/5.1.
About Japan Lifeline Co., Ltd.
Japan Lifeline Co., Ltd. was founded in 1981 as a trading company specializing in medical devices in the cardiovascular field. Since then, the company has established its unique business model in which it has the trading company function that brings cutting-edge products from overseas manufacturers to Japan, and also the manufacturing function that develops and produces in-house products, reflecting needs of clinical practice. The company has business bases to cover all over Japan and close ties with physicians and medical institutions that are leading innovations in the cardiovascular field. Making use of such superior business resources, Japan Lifeline is pursuing initiatives to provide excellent medical devices to clinical settings.
About Sony Ventures Corporation
“Sony Ventures Corporation manages Sony Innovation Fund (SIF), which invests in all stages of emerging technology companies as well as in startups solving global environmental challenges. SIF engages with pioneering startups to help fuel the development of disruptive technologies, launch new businesses, and contribute to the environment while seeking return on investment. Sony Ventures Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation, is headquartered in Japan.”
About Reazon Holdings, Inc.
Reazon Holdings’ vision is to be the best company in the world. To do that, they’re developing four main businesses: Ad tech, Social gaming, Media and Food tech. By leveraging synergies among their businesses, Reazon Holdings continues to create new, unique businesses that other companies can’t replicate.
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.