Stem cell biotech Fate nails down $9.2M

Fate Therapeutics has pieced together a $9.2 million round of equity financing, according to an SEC filing. Based on its knowledge of stem cell biology, the San Diego-based biotech has been nurturing a pipeline of experimental drugs that aim to direct the fate of cells to treat patients with cancer, diabetes and other diseases.

Fate has gained a lot of attention in early-stage biotech circles with the company's big idea to hone new knowledge about stem cell biology, rather than using the cells themselves, as treatments for a variety of diseases. According to the company's website, the company's most advanced product, ProHema, uses a small molecule to treat hematopoietic stem cells before bone marrow transplants to bolster hematopoietic reconstruction in cancer patients. Based on findings from a Phase Ib study, the company says that it plans to further develop ProHema.

FierceBiotech was unable to reach Fate CEO Bill Rastetter at his office early this morning, and the regulatory filing for the fresh round didn't specify the planned uses of the funds. The biotech's website says that it has 6 programs in development and partnerships with Becton Dickinson for use of the startup's technology for drug research tools and a contract from the U.S. Army to develop eye treatments.    

Founded in 2007 by stem cell experts from the Boston, San Diego and Seattle areas, Fate has previously raised $15 million in Series A round in 2008 and $35 million in a second-round financing announced in 2009.  The company gained early support from established biotech backers Polaris Venture Partners, ARCH Venture Partners and Venrock, with other investments coming from biotech giant Genzyme, Japanese pharma companies Astellas and Takeda as well as OVP Venture Partners. 

- here's the SEC filing

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