Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U Penn start-up raises $18M in mission to make cell therapies more accessible to patients

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 13th, 2023

A University of Pennsylvania (Penn) start-up has raised $18 million in seed funding to commercialize a technology that could help pharma companies overcome key bottlenecks in cell and gene therapy manufacturing.

BlueWhale Bio is developing a platform of products to address the current state of cell therapy production, where demand is far surpassing supply. Based on technology developed by a team of Penn researchers led by immunology pioneers Carl June and James Riley, BlueWhale’s products could deliver the benefits of cell therapy to more patients more rapidly, and at a lower cost.

“With an increased focus on growth and adoption, cell-based therapies can become the next pillar of medicine,” says June. “I am thrilled that together we are looking to develop and commercialize a new cell therapy platform to improve patient care and save lives.”

BlueWhale is the first company to be spun out of the new Danaher Ventures Pioneer Program, which launches start-ups in partnership with leading technology inventors, granting them access to the investment and business expertise of the Danaher Ventures team.

“Among the most powerful advanced biomedical therapies and technologies, cell and gene therapies have the potential to transform healthcare — but only if we can make them more accessible to the many patients who may ultimately need them,” says Murali Venkatesan, head of Danaher Ventures, Americas and Europe, and vice president of Science & Technology Innovation at Danaher Corporation. “We are proud that through the Pioneer Program we are bringing together transformative, world-class talent and resources to help address this critical challenge.”

Source: Cision

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