Jun 24, 2020 - Economy

Gene regulation startup raises $700 million

A health cross with money at its base.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sana Biotechnology, a Seattle gene regulation startup led by several co-founders of Juno Therapeutics, announced that it raised $700 million in first-round funding.

Why it matters: Juno followed a similar funding strategy, snaring a massive Series A round from some of the same backers, before quickly going public and then being acquired for $9 billion by Celgene.

  • Investors include Arch Venture Partners, Flagship Pioneering, CPPIB, Baillie Gifford, F-Prime Capital, Alaska Permanent Fund, PSP Investment Board, Bezos Expeditions, GV, Omega Funds, and Altitude Life Science Ventures.
  • Flashback: We scooped in early 2019 that Sana was raising a massive Series A round, and that it already had Arch, Flagship and F-Prime signed up.

The bottom line: "The goal is to genetically modify and differentiate stem cells to create cell therapies that are cloaked from the immune system. ... It plans to harness these resources to create off-the-shelf cell therapies capable of treating a range of diseases. To achieve that goal, Sana will need to find ways to stop the immune system from rejecting the cells as non-self." — Ben Adams, FierceBiotech

Go deeper