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Mayo Clinic Ventures funds new cancer-fighting cell, gene therapy

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Mayo Clinic Ventures has partnered with a California-based company to make cancer-fighting gene therapies available to the public.

Vineti, a pioneering cell and gene therapy software and analytics company, announced Tuesday that it had completed its initial round of funding — raising $13.75 million — aimed at delivering "the first cloud-based software solution to improve patient access, accelerate life-saving treatment delivery, and promote safety and regulatory compliance for individualized cell therapies."

The funding was provided by Mayo Clinic Ventures, GE Ventures, DFJ and LifeForce Capital. It's just the 15th company that Mayo Clinic Ventures has backed since it was formed, according to Andy Danielson, vice chairman of Mayo Clinic Ventures.

"One thing with Vineti that we liked is that we have a commitment to cell and gene therapies at Mayo," Danielson told TechCrunch.com. "Vineti will make the gene and cell therapy production process more efficient and as a result, less costly. It's all part of the equation of making these therapies more affordable and opening them up to a greater number of people."

The targeted cancer therapy under development by Vineti is part of a thriving field that conducted more than 800 clinical trials in 2016 while investing nearly $6 billion. It's all aimed at positively impacting the oncology field, the largest market in medicine that's expected to grow to $165 billion by 2021.


The first two cell therapies are expected to hit the market later this year.

Vineti touts its plans as one that "integrates logistics, manufacturing and clinical data to improve product performance overall and enable faster, broader access for patients."

"Physicians, medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies are working together to develop successful therapies, transitioning from a one-size-fits-all model to individualized treatments for each patient," said Amy DuRoss, CEO at Vineti. "Now, the process for creating and delivering these treatments can be as innovative as the therapies themselves. We are developing the Vineti platform to help these treatments reach the patients who need them the most, and are confident the partnership between our advances technologies and leading medical research will deliver better outcomes across the globe."

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