West Lafayette-based Umoja Biopharma has closed on a $53 million Series A round of funding. The Purdue University-affiliated company, which focuses on therapies that use a patient’s immune cells to kill cancer cells, says it will use the funding to expand the accessibility of its platforms to more patients.
The funding round included participation from the Purdue Startup Fund. The university says it is one of the largest initial rounds of funding for a Purdue-affiliated company.
Purdue says Umoja was founded based on work performed at the university and Seattle Children’s Research Institute. The company was co-founded by Philip Low, professor of chemistry and presidential scholar for drug discovery at Purdue, who has also co-founded several other Purdue startups.
“Scientists, investors and others are very interested in our work because it has the potential to both improve the efficacy and reduce the cost of a very promising immunotherapy for cancer,” Low said in a news release. “We are making significant advances in developing novel techniques to use a patient’s immune cells to kill his or her own cancer cells.”
The technologies used by Umoja are licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization.