Cancer-fighting biotech startup Indapta lands $30M with assist from FDA

Cancer-fighting biotech startup Indapta lands $30M with assist from FDA

Indapta, which has headquarters in both Seattle and Houston has raised a second tranche of $30 million from a $60 million Series A funding round, first raised in January 2020.

Indapta, which announced the move on Wednesday, triggered the round by receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration to start phase 1 trials for its cancer cell therapy in the second half this year.

Mark Frohlich, CEO of the company, said that the company currently has 10 employees. He plans to hire five to ten more in the coming year.

Frohlich stated that the funding environment is very difficult. "My goal is to be a part of the clinical management team in Seattle and the executive leadership team."

Indapta also works with 10 to 15 consultants in addition to their full-time staff. Frohlich stated that he was the only full-time worker in Seattle at this time, with a couple of consultants. He said that although the company has a preference for hiring in Seattle and Houston but does not have an office there yet, it is still looking to hire in those cities.

Indapta was founded in 2017 and focuses on "natural killer" cells, which are capable of fighting cancer. Frohlich stated that these cells were safer than T-cells, which can also be used to fight cancer and have serious side effects. Indapta is working with blood banks to locate donors for these cells.

Indapta's clinical trials are aimed at patients with lymphoma or multiple myeloma. The University of Texas will host the trials.

Frohlich was brought on board by the company's Series A round in last year. According to his LinkedIn profile, Frohlich spent over three years as executive vice president of Seattle-based Juno Therapeutics. Celgene acquired Juno Therapeutics for $9 billion dollars in 2018. Frohlich stated that the $30 million would help the company enter the clinic and complete its phase 1 trial.

Frohlich explained that if we could demonstrate proof of concept, and show evidence of activity for these diseases, then we would look to expand this to other solid tumors and blood cancers. As part of our pipeline we are looking to engineer these cancerous cells.