Credit: Cellares

Cellares Secures $255M to Revolutionize Cell Therapy Production with IDMO Smart Factories

With an incredible 10x increase in productivity, Cellares' new IDMO Smart Factory integrates advanced robotics and technology to meet the global demand for life-saving cell therapies
Funding & Investments
Biomanufacturing, Chemicals & Materials
Health & Medicine
August 24, 2023

In a historic breakthrough in cell therapy manufacturing, Cellares, the first-ever Integrated Development and Manufacturing Organization (IDMO), has taken a giant step by securing $255 million in Series C funding. This monumental round is led by Koch Disruptive Technologies, with participation from global players like Bristol Myers Squibb, DFJ Growth, Willett Advisors, and longstanding investors Eclipse, Decheng Capital, and 8VC.

The fund comes at a pivotal time, aiming to revolutionize the cell therapy industry through the launch of Cellares' commercial-scale IDMO Smart Factory. Located in Bridgewater, NJ, this impressive 118,000 sq. ft. facility, capable of producing 40,000 cell therapy batches per year, represents a 10x increase in productivity over conventional CDMO facilities.

David Mauney, managing director of Koch Disruptive Technologies, couldn't have put it more succinctly: “Cell therapies have tremendous curative potential across a wide range of diseases. But right now, manufacturing by conventional CDMOs is expensive, failure-prone, and impossible to scale. Cellares is driving transformation in the marketplace by combining an Industry 4.0 approach with full vertical integration. As the first IDMO, Cellares is empowering cell therapy companies to build viable businesses, remain competitive, and meet the needs of fast-growing patient populations.”

The planned launch of the world's first commercial-scale IDMO Smart Factory embodies innovation in cell therapy. By seamlessly integrating advanced robotics, purpose-built technology, and interconnected software, Cellares' IDMO Smart Factories are poised to become the future of cell therapy manufacturing.

Bloomberg Technology’s Ed Ludlow Interviews Cellares’ CEO and Co-founder, Fabian Gerlinghaus (Credit: Bloomberg News)

“The creation of the first IDMO marks the beginning of a new era, in which cell therapies will finally be able to reach patients in need,” said Cellares CEO Fabian Gerlinghaus. “We’ve developed integrated technologies for the entire drug development and manufacturing life cycle. Now we’re leveraging these technologies to offer global manufacturing services for the living drugs of the 21st century.”

An exciting aspect of Cellares' technology is its flexibility, supporting around 90% of cell therapy modalities. The Cell Shuttle platform, compact automation, and end-to-end automation all contribute to a staggering 90% reduction in labor and facility size. These innovations are vital in achieving a 10x increase in productivity.

As of now, Cellares operates two Smart Factories in the US, with plans for expansion in Europe by 2024. Moreover, the company's Technology Adoption Partnership (TAP) program, allowing automation and tech transfer onto the Cell Shuttle platform within just six months, is a testament to Cellares' relentless pursuit of efficiency and excellence.

With the Bridgewater facility's upcoming cGMP readiness in the second half of 2024 and the forthcoming European factory, the future looks bright for global cell therapy manufacturing. Cellares' determination and state-of-the-art approach may indeed pave the way for life-saving cell therapies to reach the patients who need them most, fulfilling a long-awaited promise of the biotechnology era.

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