French CAR-T specialist Cellectis didn’t have the best time in 2017, but it seems their luck is changing, having just closed a $164 million U.S. public offering. 

According to Fierce Biotech, around $100 million of the new funding will be used to build commercial capabilities including a manufacturing plant for its CAR-T candidates. The candidates, who use donated cells rather than cells harvested from individual patients like currently approved CAR-Ts from Novartis and Kite Pharma/Gilead, should, in theory, be cheaper to make and deliver. 

Hold on Cellectis’ CAR-T Trial Lifted

The company has also said that it would spend $20 million to take another program into clinical development and had earmarked $30 million to explore the use of its gene-editing technology outside oncology. 

This progress is a far cry from where the biotech was this time last year, after being knocked back by an FDA clinical hold on its CAR-T therapy UCART123 for acute myeloid leukemia after a death due to cytokine-release syndrome (CRS), a recognised but serious safety issue with this type of cancer. 

CAR-T Patient Dies in Cellectis’ Trials

Hopefully, things are on the up for Cellectis, for good.