Seattle biotech startup led by Fred Hutch, Adaptive vets raises $16M for rapid drug development tech – GeekWire

Seattle biotech startup led by Fred Hutch, Adaptive vets raises $16M for rapid drug development tech – GeekWire

Seattle biotech startup led by Fred Hutch, Adaptive vets raises $16M for rapid drug development tech – GeekWire

Lumen Chief Science Officer Jim Roberts (left) and CEO Brian Finrow. (Lumen Photo)

Lumen Bioscience today announced a $16 million Series B round to help support its novel approach to rapid and low-cost drug development.

The company has come up with a way to produce orally-delivered antibodies and other biologics by using a bioengineered bright green algae called Spirulina. It has three clinical programs to treat gastrointestinal diseases including C. difficile, norovirus, and traveler’s diarrhea.

Lumen CEO Brian Finrow said the company’s technology lowers the cost of biologic drugs by a factor of 1,000 or more.

“With traditional technologies there’s nowhere near enough manufacturing capacity in the world to treat and prevent these diseases in this way, but Lumen’s technology makes it feasible,” he said.

Lumen is led by Finrow, a former senior vice president at Adaptive Biotechnologies, and Chief Science Officer Jim Roberts, the former head of basic sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute. They co-founded the startup in 2017.

The 50-person company has several collaborations with organizations such as the Gates Foundation, NIH, NIAID, Fred Hutch, and others. It is currently working with the Gates Foundation to develop infectious disease drugs alongside fellow Seattle startup A-Alpha Bio.

WestRiver Management and Bioeconomy Capital led the round. Avista Development, Columbia Pacific, and local angels also participated, along with the co-founders. Total funding to date is $68 million.

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