Fate ready to expand with $30M Series B

La Jolla, CA-based Fate Therapeutics has rounded up $30 million in a Series B to help advance its work on a pipeline of stem cell modulators. OVP Venture Partners led the round, joined with a syndicate that includes Astellas Venture Management, Genzyme Ventures and an unnamed corporate investor. The three co-leaders of Fate's Series A--ARCH Venture Partners, Polaris Venture Partners and Venrock--participated in the latest round.

"That (round) should provide us, without any additional financing from non-dilutive sources or partnerships, at least two years" of operating capital, Fate CFO Scott Wolchko tells FierceBiotech. Fate currently has a staff of about 40, he adds, but will probably add another eight to 10 employees over the next six months as it advances its lead program toward a pivotal trial in the second half of 2010.

Fate Therapeutics is developing its lead stem cell modulator, FT1050, to enhance hematopoietic stem cell proliferation and homing. The small molecule is in clinical testing at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital in adult patients with hematologic malignancies, such as leukemia and lymphoma. The Phase Ib study is designed to determine the safety and tolerability of introducing FT1050 during the standard course of dual umbilical cord blood transplant.

- check out Fate's release on the round

ALSO: Switzerland's Xigen has raised $20 million in new venture funds for its work developing innovative cell-penetrating peptides. Release