Caribou nabs $115M to advance CRISPR-edited cell therapies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

March 3, 2021 -- Caribou Biosciences has completed $115 million in financing to further develop its next-generation CRISPR technology platform and advance its pipeline of allogeneic immune cell therapies for oncology.

Caribou has developed chRDNAs, highly specific RNA-DNA hybrid guides that direct substantially more precise genome editing than all-RNA guides; chRDNAs drive multiplex genome editing, including gene insertion.

Caribou uses chRDNA guides in concert with various CRISPR enzymes to develop complex immune cell therapies. Caribou is deploying chRDNAs to power the development of its CRISPR-edited therapies by guiding cellular editing with the highest level of fidelity.

Among its pipeline of cell therapies, Caribou is developing CB-010, an allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell program that targets CD19 and is being evaluated in a phase I clinical trial for patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The company is also advancing CB-011, an immunologically cloaked allogeneic CAR T-cell therapy targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) for the treatment of relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma, and CB-012, an allogeneic CAR T-cell therapy, which targets CD371 for the treatment of relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia.

The company is also working on induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived allogeneic natural killer (NK) cell therapies for solid tumor indications.

The financing round was led by Farallon Capital Management, PFM Health Sciences, and Ridgeback Capital Investments.

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