Success Story

Leading Scientists unite to launch Capstan Therapeutics

Penn spinout Capstan Therapeutics unites decades of combined experience in groundbreaking CAR therapies with the latest advances in mRNA delivery technology to find new cures for cancer and other diseases.  PCI supported this very exciting new company formation and initial $165 million in funding over the last several months as complex IP and legal complexities were negotiated.

Capstan’s scientific founders are CAR-T pioneers Carl June, M.D., and Bruce Levine, Ph.D.; Drew Weissman, M.D., Ph.D., and Hamideh Parhiz, PharmD, Ph.D., experts in mRNA and targeted lipid nanoparticle (LNP) technologies; Steven Albelda, M.D., and Ellen Pure, A.B., Ph.D., who specialize in immunology and fibrosis; and Jon Epstein, M.D., and Haig Aghajanian, Ph.D., who specialize in preclinical translation.

Investors include: Pfizer Ventures, Leaps by Bayer, Eli Lilly and Co., Bristol Myers Squibb, Polaris Partners, Alexandria Venture Investments and all its existing investors. In November, Capstan raised $63 million in a seed financing round led by Novartis Venture Fund and OrbiMed. RA Capital and Vida Ventures also participated in the seed round

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