Vineti scores $13M+, launches cloud-based platform for cell therapies

With the first CAR-T treatments poised to hit the market this year, the companies making them must scale up their manufacturing to meet demand. Enter Vineti, which is launching its end-to-end, cloud-based system to streamline company processes and accelerate patient access to these therapies.

CAR-T, or chimeric antigen receptor T cells, therapy is designed to boost the immune response to cancer. Because the body identifies tumors—uncontrolled cell growth—as “self,” it can be difficult to get the immune system to attack it. CAR-T involves taking an individual’s T cells and engineering them to express artificial receptors on their surfaces, “training” them to recognize cancer and fight it.

But because CAR-T and other personalized cell and gene therapies are so new, the infrastructure to produce them at scale has simply not existed. Production and delivery processes have not developed in step with these treatments, said Vineti CEO Amy DuRoss.

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San Francisco-based Vineti started out as Vitruvian Networks in April last year. The company’s mission? Expanding patient access to life-saving therapies, such as CAR-T. Now, Vineti has reeled in $13.75 million from GE Ventures and Mayo Clinic, among other investors, which will go toward building its team and bringing its platform to customers.

The Vineti platform, which is now commercially available, offers a single point of control for the various processes involved in making cell and gene therapies. Currently, this involves unconnected IT systems and manual processes, including separate spreadsheets and handwritten notes, DuRoss said.

Managing everything—from ordering, collecting and transporting a patient’s T cells to manufacturing and delivering the therapy—in one place can cut costs, scale up production and minimize errors.

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“There’s a serious discrepancy between the accelerated development of life-saving cancer therapies and the supporting technologies required to deliver these treatments,” said Risa Stack, general manager of New Business Creation at GE Ventures, which launched Vineti last year alongside Mayo Clinic. “Vineti’s dream team of leading industry pioneers and software engineers have formed the first company to align innovation in research with innovation in how next-generation therapies are produced and delivered, putting them on equal ground for the first time.”

While Vineti is “laser-focused” on cell and gene therapies, DuRoss said the company is interested in other disease states.

“We see applicability for this platform as it continues to be developed… for any and all therapeutics or devices that have personalizations attached to them,” DuRoss said.