Biotech startup CellFE raises $4.8M seed funding to develop microfluidics based device that delivers gene-editing molecules to human cells | Tech News

CellFE, a San Francisco Bay Area-based biotech startup developing intracellular delivery platform to enable engineering of life-saving therapies, has closed $4.8 million Series Seed round of financing to fuel the progress already underway towards developing CellFE’s innovative solution to enable the engineering of the next generation cell therapies. The round was co-led by Dynamk Capital and Cota Capital co-led, with participation from Embark Ventures, Elm Ventures and McEwan Lane Family Trust.

In conjunction with the funding, CellFE also announced that Dr. Gustavo Mahler, Venture Partner, Dynamk Capital and Cota Capital’s Founder and Managing Partner Bobby Yazdani will be joining its board of directors. The additional investors joining this round reflects the continued interest in the rapidly growing cell therapy sector.

Founded in 2018, CellFE is an early-stage startup company focused on the application of microfluidics in the process of delivering gene-editing molecules into human cells. CellFE’s executive team is composed of members who bring strong expertise in the theoretical and practical aspects of the technology, as well as experience in leadership and business operations. CellFE’s research and development efforts are led by world-class scientists who share a passion for engineering life-saving therapies.

“We are excited to partner with an absolutely fantastic team of investors to support us in our pursuit of setting a new standard for engineering of therapeutic cells. Oversubscribing the intended $3M round to $4.8M accelerates our technology development and early partnership programs” said Alla Zamarayeva, CEO of CellFE.

CellFE is well positioned to capitalize on the unique needs of the cell and gene therapy market. CellFE has created an elegant approach to one of the major bottlenecks in the manufacturing of gene modified cell therapies – how to efficiently deliver gene-editing payloads with high throughput, while preserving cell function and viability. CellFE’s technology uses rapid cell compressions that drive cells to uptake molecules from the surrounding fluid. This approach fundamentally differs from today’s cell engineering which uses viral vectors to deliver gene-editing molecules into cells, as viruses are limited in the size of the molecule they can carry. This limits their application to next generation therapies. In addition, viral manufacturing is complex and costly and poses potential safety risks. CellFE’s patent-protected microfluidic technology can deliver large molecules into the cells efficiently, with high throughput, and at a fraction of the cost in a compact, scalable, and tunable manner from research to clinical scale.

“Cell and gene therapies are one of the fastest growing sectors in biotechnology today. However, the manufacturing technology needed for such therapies requires further refinement. CellFE’s technology provides a new alternative for high throughput, rapid, and more affordable manufacturing by enabling faster cell gene-editing. We look forward to supporting the CellFE team to scale their business and make their technology broadly available.” – Dr. Gustavo Mahler, Dynamk Capital.

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