NantCell, the immuno-oncology subsidiary of billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s growing NantWorks health care technology empire, has acquired tissue and stem cell engineering firm VivaBioCell. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Udine, Italy-based VivaBioCell develops regenerative medicine therapies using stem cell and tissue engineering, according to its website. Some of its applications include stem cell treatments for osteoarthritis and bone regeneration for dental reconstruction.
The acquisition allows NantCell to use VivaBioCell’s technology to develop manufacturing processes for immune cells utilized in the treatment of cancer while expanding Culver City-based NantWorks’ geographic footprint.
“Bringing the two organizations together strengthens NantCell’s capabilities in tissue engineering and cell culture capabilities and enables next generation low cost manufacturing systems in the era of cell based immunotherapy,” Soon-Shiong said in a statement.
NantCell launched in January and immediately hit the ground running with an exclusive licensing deal with Amgen Inc. to develop and commercialize an oncology compound from the Thousand Oaks firm.
A couple months later, NantCell inked another deal with San Diego biotech firm Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. to discover and develop new cancer immunotherapies.
The NantWorks subsidiary also recently took on $75 million in equity funding from a single investor, according to a regulatory filing. The investor was not named in the filing.
Soon-Shiong has been making other immune-oncology bets with clinical stage immunotherapy firm Conkwest Inc. He’s a majority shareholder and also became the Cardiff-by-the-Sea company’s chief executive officer in March. Conkwest filed regulatory paperwork earlier this week for a $172 million initial public offering.
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