Company advancing novel live tumor imaging diagnostic platform
MADISON, Wis., Jan. 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Elephas Biosciences Corporation (Elephas), a private company, announced today that it has raised $55 million in Series C funding. Venture Investors Health Fund and State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) led the round. Continuing investments were made by Northpond Ventures, ARCH Ventures, Sands Capital, Moore Strategic Ventures, Tao Invest, and WARF Ventures. With this $55 million Series C funding, this brings the total raised by Elephas to $116.5 million.
Elephas is developing an oncology imaging diagnostics platform to predict response to immunotherapy using the latest advances in metabolic imaging. The platform utilizes live patient biopsies with intact native tumor architecture and treats them with potential therapies to predict response to treatment. The basis of the platform is to visualize immune cell activity including T cell activation and cytotoxic mediated killing. Read more about the latest scientific data presented by Elephas at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) meeting in November 2023 here.
Elephas is conducting observational clinical trials to demonstrate that a patient’s clinical response to immunotherapy is correlated to the response data obtained by the Elephas platform, adding confidence the data generated from the platform can be used to predict response. The company also launched their biopharma services offering in 2023, partnering with biopharma companies to accelerate immunotherapy drug development using the Elephas platform.
Oncology drugs remain the largest pharmaceutical therapeutic area, with immunotherapies emerging in the last decade as powerful tools in the fight against cancer. However, despite the significant increase in the number of available immunotherapies, only 1 in 3 patients receiving immunotherapy frontline obtain a response and many who may respond are not eligible for therapy due to a lack of accurate predictive biomarkers.
“We remain intensely focused on our mission to improve care for cancer patients,” stated Maneesh Arora, founder and CEO of Elephas. “Supported by world class venture firms we are committed to building a platform that can help guide clinicians and enhance access to life-changing immunotherapies.”
“The Elephas platform holds immense promise to address a critical unmet need in predicting response to immunotherapy,” Venture Investors Health Fund’s Paul Weiss, added. “We are excited to work side by side with the company to pioneer a new diagnostic era for immunotherapy that will improve both access to therapy and outcomes for patients.”
XMS Capital Partners acted as financial advisor to the company.
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, with the number of patients projected to triple by 2060. Despite a significant increase in the number of available immunotherapies, only 1 in 3 patients receiving immunotherapy frontline obtain a response and many who may respond are not eligible for therapy due to lack of accurate predictive biomarkers. With the mission to tackle the massive oncology dilemma, Elephas is developing an ex-vivo platform to assess how live patient biopsies respond to immunotherapies. Our unique approach maintains the native 3-dimensional cellular architecture and micro-environment of the tumor, enabling rapid real-time characterization of live tumor response to immunotherapies using the latest advances in metabolic imaging. To learn more, visit us at www.elephas.com and follow us on LinkedIn.
About Venture Investors Health Fund
Venture Investors is a premier provider of venture capital funding and company building expertise to early-stage healthcare companies. With a Midwest focus and national reach, they have a track record of working with passionate entrepreneurs to advance solutions to the market that address the world’s biggest health challenges. Venture Investors is focused on investment opportunities in healthcare, principally those emerging from ecosystems surrounding major research universities in the Midwest. Formed in 1982, Venture Investors has offices strategically located next to the country’s second and sixth largest research institutions in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Madison, Wisconsin. For more information, please visit https://ventureinvestors.com.
About State of Wisconsin Investment Board
The State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), created in 1951, is an independent state agency responsible for managing the assets of the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS), the State Investment Fund (SIF), and other state trust funds. As of December 31, 2023, SWIB managed $155 billion of total assets, 85% representing WRS assets. SWIB’s strong management of the trust funds has helped WRS remain one of the only fully funded U.S. public pension plans. SWIB provides a strong, steady economic pillar for the state of Wisconsin by growing the trust funds under its management, managing risk, and optimizing costs over the long term.
About ARCH Venture Partners
ARCH Venture Partners invests in life science and advanced technology companies and is one of the world’s leading early-stage venture firms. The firm is a recognized leader in commercializing technologies developed at academic institutions, corporate research groups and national laboratories. ARCH invests primarily in companies it co-founds with leading scientists and entrepreneurs, bringing innovations in life sciences and physical sciences to market. For more information visit www.archventure.com.
About Northpond Ventures
Northpond Ventures is a multi-billion dollar science-driven venture capital firm based in Cambridge, MA; San Francisco, CA; and Bethesda, MD. Northpond has been named one of the three most active lead biotech investors in 2021 by Crunchbase, and the most active lead investor in life science solutions and molecular diagnostics by Silicon Valley Bank. It is particularly engaged in the research ecosystem, having founded a bioengineering laboratory at Harvard, and sponsored a prize for women entrepreneurs at MIT. It has led over 50 financings over the past several years, with a high percentage having an academic origin. Learn more at npv.vc.
About Moore Strategic Ventures
Moore Strategic Ventures, LLC is the privately held investment company for Louis M. Bacon, Founder and CEO of Moore Capital Management, LP.
About Tao Capital Partners
Tao Capital Partners is a family office that invests in technology, alternative energy and transportation, healthcare, education, sustainable food & agriculture, consumer, and real estate businesses that have a positive impact. Tao is an active investor with the ability to support companies through various stages of their life-cycle.
About Sands Capital
Sands Capital is an active, long-term investor in leading innovative businesses globally. Our approach combines analytical rigor and creative thinking to identify high-quality growth businesses that are creating the future. Through an integrated investment platform spanning venture capital, growth equity and public equity, we provide growth capital solutions to institutions and fund sponsors in more than 40 countries.
About WARF Ventures
WARF Ventures actively invests in startups with University of Wisconsin-Madison technology and has done so over two decades. WARF Ventures is part of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) which helps steward the cycle of research, discovery, commercialization, and investment for the university. WARF manages more than 2,000 patents and an investment portfolio as it funds university research, obtains patents for campus discoveries and licenses inventions to industry. For more information, visit warf.org and view WARF’s Cycle of Innovation.