cellvie Inc., a leader in Therapeutic Mitochondria Transplantation (TMT), an approach developed at Harvard, closes a $5.5 Million financing to get Series A-ready by the end of 2023.
Mitochondria are intimately tied to the origin of complex life, the energy of the young and the decline of the old. Their dysfunction has been tied to numerous diseases, ranging from neurodegenerative ailments, over heart attacks, to age-related degeneration. “Whilst Mitochondria have been known as therapeutic targets for a long time, treating them has proven challenging”, notes Dr. James McCully, a co-founder of cellvie and inventor of TMT. That’s why he turned to transplanting viable mitochondria to reinvigorate the impaired cell energy metabolism after an ischemic shock (e.g. a heart attack).
“Given the insights gained and treatment successes shown by my co-founders, we always viewed mitochondria as a potential new category of medicines”, says Dr. Alexander Schueller, co-founder and CEO of cellvie. “To realize the modality’s potential, we have therefore focused our efforts on scalable productization – developing an allogeneic off-the-shelf product – and research on new therapeutic applications – such as in gene therapy delivery and aging.” With this additional funding, cellvie intends to accelerate and expand the development of its mitochondria platform and to further strengthen the organizational foundations. Dr. Schueller notes that “while many companies need to conserve cash and slow down shortly before raising their next round, we are now in a position to speed up and form an even stronger basis to raise our Series A.”
Taiho Ventures joins Kizoo Technology Capital as one of cellvie’s primary investors and will take a board seat to help the company realize its ambitions. “We recognized the tremendous potential in the therapeutic use of mitochondria, particularly in the fight against cancer, and we believe that cellvie is very well positioned to become a leader in this emerging field”, says Sakae Asanuma, President and CEO at Taiho Ventures. Kizoo is also a significant co-investor in this round, having gained ever more confidence in the technology and the potential of the team since leading the company’s seed round in 2020. Frank Schueler, Managing Director at Kizoo and member of the board at cellvie says: “The team has done a remarkable job in advancing our understanding and pushing the boundaries of mitochondria-based therapies. So it was only natural for us to continue to support cellvie as one of our key startups.”