November 18, 2020
Biotech company gains major funding to keep developing use of immune system to fight cancer
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Umoja Biopharma, a Purdue University-affiliated biotechnology company focused on using a patient’s own immune cells to kill cancerous cells, has secured one of the largest initial rounds of funding ever for a Purdue-affiliated company.
Umoja on Wednesday (Nov. 18) announced the completion of its $53 million Series A financing. The Purdue Startup Fund participated in the financing. Umoja was founded by a team of leading scientists and researchers with the vision of creating an entirely new approach to engineered immunotherapies.
Umoja intends to expand accessibility to patients everywhere by enabling a person’s body to do the work previously undertaken by complex and costly manufacturing processes.
“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,” said Philip S. Low, the Purdue Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery. “We are making significant advances in developing novel techniques to use a patient’s immune cells to kill his or her own cancer cells.”
Low is a serial entrepreneur who has worked for decades to bring life science solutions to the world. He has co-founded a number of Purdue-affiliated startups.
Umoja was founded based on pioneering work performed at Purdue and Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Umoja’s platforms create and harness a powerful immune response in the body to directly, safely and controllably attack cancer.
Low previously worked on targeted therapies to reduce lung fibrosis.
Low’s technologies are licensed through the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Purdue Research Foundation
The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Established in 1930, the foundation accepts gifts; administers trusts; funds scholarships and grants; acquires property; protects Purdue's intellectual property; and promotes entrepreneurial activities on behalf of Purdue. The foundation manages the Purdue Foundry, Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization, Purdue Research Park, Purdue Technology Centers and University Development Office. In 2020, the IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The foundation received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization at email@example.com. For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact the Purdue Foundry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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