Stockholm-based SmartCella Holding AB, a biotechnology and medtech company that wants to develop therapeutic treatments for patients who have exhausted all other options, announced that it has raised SEK 328M (approx €32M) to further advance and accelerate the development of core technologies in its three business units – Procella Therapeutics, Smartwise, and SvedMed Solutions.
The round was led by advisor SEB, along with a group of investors including AMF, SEB Pension, Alto Cumulus, and Celox. Existing investors AP4 and the founders Prof. Kenneth Chien, Thomas von Koch, and Christian Kinch also participated in this round.
Speaking on the development, CEO of SmartCella, Staffan Holmin says, “We are very pleased to have such a well-renowned group of institutional and private investors joining us as we now accelerate the development of Procella, Smartwise, and SvedMed Solutions towards first-in-human studies, as well as to establish GMP manufacturing capabilities.”
“The financing will enable the company to move to the next phase and will take us to an IPO in 2-3 years,” adds Christian Kinch, Chairman & co-founder of SmartCella.
About Procella Therapeutics
Procella Therapeutics was started in 2018 to create the next generation of cell-based therapies for patients who are running out of options. It focuses on stem cell treatments for patients with advanced heart failure.
For patients who have suffered a heart attack, a large number of heart cells die, which causes heart failure and significant morbidity and mortality. With cardiac progenitor cells, Procella Therapeutics, together with AstraZeneca, is developing a new way to regenerate those parts of the heart that have been damaged by a heart attack.
In animal tests, the company’s technology has shown that unique and novel heart progenitor cells have the capability of creating new muscle in hearts damaged from a heart attack. The company is now gearing for the first human studies.
The stem cell technology was developed at the Karolinska Institutet by Kenneth Chien, Distinguished Professor of the Swedish Research Council and Director of the Wallenberg-Karolinska Cardiovascular Initiative.
What does Smartwise offer?
In 1953, Sven-Ivar Seldinger developed a technique for inserting catheters into the blood vessels via an INtroducer – this method is used in all hospitals throughout the world.
Using this as inspiration, Smartwise was founded in 2015 to develop the Extroducer technology invented in the laboratory of Staffan Holmin (MD, Ph.D., CEO of SmartCella). Holmin’s team developed the EXtroducer infusion catheter, a novel catheter that uses the same Seldinger principle to exit blood vessels and reach adjacent tissues. Large animal proof of principle studies at the Karolinska Institutet in tissues, such as heart, kidney, pancreas, and liver, have been performed.
The EXtroducer can be integrated with many off-the-shelf micro-catheters and navigated into the microvasculature. A microvasculature is the system of tiny blood vessels, including capillaries, venules, and arterioles, that perfuse the body’s tissues.
The third business unit, SvedMed Solutions, works on developing novel methods for RNA-based therapies and methods for administration and the delivery of such therapies.
Kenneth Chien, co-founder and the main shareholder of SmartCella and also a co-founder of Moderna says, “The Stockholm region has all necessary components, including a strong IT-sector, to become a world-leading biotech cluster.”