Seattle biotech startup Outpace Bio raises $30M to fight cancer with custom-designed proteins

Outpace Bio CEO (Outpace Photo)

New funding: Outpace Bio raised a $30 million Series A investment round to design custom cell and gene-based therapies.

The science: Founded in November, the Seattle startup is developing software and hardware to manipulate how cells interact with diseases. Its initial work is focused on T cell therapies that fight solid tumors.

Partnership with Lyell: The 18-person company also announced a partnership with San Francisco startup Lyell Immunopharma to pursue commercialization of a potential immune cell therapy for cancer treatment.

Investors: ARTIS Ventures and Lyell led the round. Abstract Ventures, Civilization Ventures, Mubadala Capital (the asset management arm of Mubadala Investment Company), Playground Global, Sahsen Ventures, and WRF Capital also participated. Total funding to date is $30 million.

Leadership: Outpace is led by co-founder and CEO Marc Lajoie, who also co-founded Lyell. Lajoie was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Washington’s Institute for Protein Design. He started Outpace with Scott Boyken, chief scientific officer. Boyken also co-founded Lyell and worked with Lajoie at the UW.

“A biological activity that is beneficial in one context can drive dysfunction or toxicity in another. Outpace is working to overcome this by reprogramming cells to make the right decisions in the right context,” Lajoie said in a statement. “We believe that cures will require the full power of cells to intervene in complex biology in ways that small molecule drugs and biologics cannot.”

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