March 23, 2023
Seattle, WA, March 23, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Outpace Bio, a company using protein design and cell engineering to create advanced cell therapies, today announced that Dr. Bahija Jallal has joined its Board of Directors. The move bolsters Outpace’s efforts to develop technologies that can reprogram how gene-modified cell therapies function and coordinate a productive immune response, yielding safe and effective cell therapies for cancer patients.
Bahija Jallal, CEO and Director of the Board of Immunocore, a commercial-stage biotechnology company oversaw the historic regulatory approval of the world’s first T cell receptor (TCR) therapy for a solid tumor. She brings deep R&D and company leadership experience to Outpace.
As President of MedImmune and Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca, Jallal led the development and approval of five new biologic medicines across three therapeutic areas, while boosting the company’s research & development pipeline and deal-making. Dr. Jallal serves on the Board of Elevance, Inc. and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins University and the Board of Directors of the University of Maryland Health Sciences Research Park Corporation. She is a member of the National Science Foundation and a past President of the board of the Association of Women in Science. The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association named her its 2017 Woman of the Year.
“The Outpace team has potentially cracked the code by creating entirely new protein functions from scratch,” said Jallal. “Outpace is reimagining how biology should function, and I am pleased to work with a company that has an opportunity to transform the future of cell therapy.”
Matt Hershenson, a founding General Partner at deep-tech venture capital firm Playground Global, has also joined Outpace’s Board of Directors. With a track record of founding a startup that achieved >$50M Annual Recurring Revenue and was later acquired by Microsoft for $500M, along with years of experience building leading engineering teams at Apple, Microsoft, and Google, Hershenson brings an exceptional ability to guide the development of world-changing technologies.
In 2021, Outpace raised a $55 million Series A composed of an initial $30 million Series A round and a follow-on $25 million Series A-1 extension. Existing investor Playground Global led the extension financing, with participation from new investor Bristol Myers Squibb and returning investors ARTIS Ventures (a TechBio-focused investor), Mubadala Capital (the asset management arm of Mubadala Investment Company), Sahsen Ventures, and Civilization Ventures.
The Series A funding has enabled Outpace to establish its cell programming platform and its partnership approach to development. The Series A-1 extension funding will accelerate development of the Company’s OutLast™ autonomous regulation and OutSmart™ controlled cytokine technologies, geared toward increasing the ability of engineered T cells to persist in the body and to recruit endogenous immune cells for a more productive anticancer response.
Additionally, Outpace is using the funding to build out an internal pipeline focused on anticancer T cell therapies with dramatically enhanced efficacy by leveraging its OutLast™ and OutSmart™ technologies. These new efforts complement the Company’s partnership model, allowing Outpace to develop technologies using internal assets and to deploy them through partnerships across modalities and applications.
“Our bodies inherently make the wrong decisions when fighting cancer,” said Marc Lajoie, CEO and co-founder of Outpace. “We aim to cure cancer and other diseases by developing cell therapy products that make better decisions inside patients, improving persistence, immune engagement, and safety. With Bahija Jallal and Matt Hershenson on the Board, our ambition is to accelerate the development of our unique technologies and open new collaborations with world-leading partners to create curative cell and gene therapies.”
About Outpace Bio
Outpace is creating cell therapies with curative potential through protein design and cellular engineering. With an initial focus on solid tumors, Outpace is developing technologies that overcome the barriers to efficacy and safety by programming cells to make the right decisions inside patients. Outpace’s suite of technologies drive persistent activity of the cell therapy (OutLast™), recruit a productive immune response in the tumor microenvironment (OutSmart™), and achieve the potency (OutSpacers™), specificity (Co-LOCKR™), and safety (EGFRopt™) necessary to unlock diverse cancer indications. Outpace’s internal and partnered pipeline approach is optimized for rapid clinical validation of its technologies across diverse cell types and manufacturing processes. Outpace is based in Seattle, Washington. To learn more, visit outpacebio.com or email email@example.com and follow on Twitter and Instagram @OutpaceBio.
About ARTIS Ventures
ARTIS Ventures (AV) partners with entrepreneurs who are driven to impact the world by reshaping and reinventing industries. The team supports its portfolio companies through their entire life-cycle, from initial venture investment to public offering and beyond. As an early leader in the emerging TechBio sector, ARTIS Ventures funds companies at the intersection of computer science and life science, applying engineering principles and data-enabled discovery to the healthcare space. Notable companies the firm has backed include Stemcentrx, Outpace Bio, Tessera Therapeutics, Freenome, Eko, Delix, Modern Meadow, Excision BioTherapeutics, Lemonaid Health, and more. For more information visit www.av.co or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Playground Global
Playground Global invests in founders harnessing frontier technologies to build transformational businesses with multi-generational impact. Recognizing the promise in early stage entrepreneurs developing new solutions in artificial intelligence, automation, life sciences, next-gen compute, cybersecurity, aerospace, and beyond, Playground offers world-class expertise across a wide variety of business and technical domains to help companies achieve their potential. Learn more at playground.global.