Startups, BioPharma

OrbiMed launches next-gen immunotherapy startup Adicet with $51M

The company also just acquired Israel-based Applied Immune Technologies, meant to fine tune its development of monoclonal antibodies.

biotech investing JP Morgan 2016Aya Jakobovits, former founder and CEO of Kite Pharma and current venture partner at OrbiMed, is heading up a new, next-gen immunotherapy startup – backed by an impressive $51 million Series A.

The Bay Area upstart, called Adicet Bio, is keeping very quiet about its underlying platform. Jakobovits emphasized in a phone interview, however, that the platform is meant to develop “universal immune cell therapy” – meaning it should be broadly applicable for a number of diseases, including cancer, autoimmune disease and inflammation.

It’s launching with news of an acquisition, however: Adicet just bought Israeli immunotherapy company Applied Immune Technologies, which focuses on the intracellular proteome.

“There’s a very good correlation between AIT and Adicet,” Jakobovits said.

AIT develops T-Cell Receptor-like antibodies that are targeted, through the major histocompatibility complex, toward disease-linked peptides in cells. Adicet’s plan is to generate monoclonal antibodies that have affinity and high specificity to this MHC complex, she said.

Jakobovits said there’s no correlation or link between Kite Pharma and Adicet – in technology or in business dealings. The financing round was led by OrbiMed, with participation from Novartis Venture Fund and Pontifax.