Sensei Biotherapeutics, a Cambrian affiliate developing cancer vaccines, raised approximately $133 million through an initial public offering (IPO) on February 4, World Cancer Day
(February 9, 2021, New York, NY) — Cambrian Biopharma, a Distributed Drug Discovery Company (DisCo), announced that it has raised $60 million in private financing to develop medicines to extend healthy lifespan. Cambrian is a multi-asset biotechnology company that combines the advantages of a biotech business, a venture capital fund, and an incubator as it creates a platform for developing multiple new therapeutics.
This launch coincides with the IPO of its portfolio company Sensei Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: SNSE), which began trading on February 4, World Cancer Day, through which Sensei raised approximately $133M in gross proceeds while seeing its market cap rise to about $600 million. Cambrian is the largest shareholder in Sensei Bio.
Cambrian is embracing the idea of a “DisCo,” which works like a hub-and-spoke model to develop a family of companies, allowing them to thrive by building expert teams in drug discovery, development, clinical trials, finance, and market analysis as a shared resource for each pipeline company to use.
Cambrian scientists are targeting the “Nine Hallmarks of Aging,” including cellular senescence, sustained tissue inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction. They are leveraging breakthroughs in fields that include immunology, genomics, and epigenetics, and technologies that range from gene editing to new stem cell therapies.
“Over the next decade, Cambrian aims to detect and prevent aging-related diseases before they take root,” said James Peyer, CEO and Co-Founder of Cambrian. “Much like scientists were able to prevent and reverse lethal diseases like smallpox and polio in the 20th century, we are inspired to lay the foundation for conquering today’s most devastating diseases at the onset of the 21st century.”
Peyer co-founded Cambrian along with seasoned biotech investor and entrepreneur Christian Angermayer, who serves as Cambrian’s chairman. While in stealth mode, the company raised $60 million from a syndicate of long-term investors including Angermayer’s Apeiron Investment Group, Future Ventures, Catalio Capital Management, Brent Saunders, Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital and others. Peyer and Angermayer are joined on Cambrian’s Board of Directors by Maryanna Saenko, Partner at Future Ventures, and Marty Chavez, the former CFO of Goldman Sachs, as a Board Observer.
To date, Cambrian has 14 novel therapies under development within its stable of companies. The first of these to be disclosed is Sensei Bio, which has as its lead therapeutic product candidate a genetically engineered bacteriophage vaccine that has already demonstrated promising data in a Phase 1/2 human clinical trial of patients with late-stage head and neck cancer. “We are proud to announce that with Sensei, there was a $600 million longevity IPO this year,” said Peyer, “you just haven’t heard of it yet.”