CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Jan. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Codiak BioSciences Inc., a leading company in the field of exosome biology, today announced the closing of its $61 million Series B round, bringing total investment in its combined Series A and B financing, announced in November 2015, to $92 million. Codiak intends to use the proceeds of this round primarily to advance research and clinical development of exosomes for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.
The Series A and B financing were co-led by ARCH Venture Partners and Flagship Ventures, with participation by the Alaska Permanent Fund, Alexandria Venture Investments and Fidelity Management and Research Company.
"This financing is a strong indication of the promise of exosomes to improve human health," said Douglas E. Williams, Ph.D., President and CEO. "With these additional resources we will continue to build our world-class team to realize the broad transformative potential of exosomes for multiple therapeutic and diagnostic uses."
Exosomes are tiny membrane sacs, or vesicles, that are released by both healthy and cancerous cells. Substances from cell cytoplasm, including genomic DNA, various RNA species, proteins and lipids are encapsulated into exosomes and are shed into the extracellular environment. All fluids in the human body have been shown to contain exosomes, which can transfer the cytoplasmic ingredients to other cells either locally or at distant sites. The cytoplasmic payload within exosomes, once transferred to the recipient cells, can alter the biology of the recipient cells. Exosomes may be useful for diagnostic purposes since they contain genomic DNA for mutational analysis using a simple blood test. In addition, cancer-derived exosomes have specific markers that enable them to be isolated, purified and analyzed. Exosomes have been described as the package delivery system of the body because of their ability to be released from one cell and deliver their contents to distant cells. This property of exosomes may play an essential role in the formation of certain microenvironments in health and disease.
Codiak BioSciences is a venture-backed start-up dedicated to harnessing the power of exosomes as both therapeutics and diagnostics in cancer and other diseases. Codiak is building a world-class team and has generated, acquired and licensed foundational intellectual property to enable the development of products that capitalize on the unique biology of exosomes.
SOURCE Codiak BioSciences Inc.