Shoreline Biosciences Announces $140M Financing To Advance Pipeline Of Next Generation Cell Immunotherapies

Financing accelerates the growth of Shoreline’s pipeline of iPSC-based cell immunotherapies for the treatment of seriously ill patients and enables the buildout of smart manufacturing capabilities

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Shoreline Biosciences, Inc. (Shoreline), a biotechnology company developing intelligently designed allogeneic off-the-shelf, standardized, and targeted induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) derived natural killer (NK) and macrophage cellular immunotherapies, today announced the completion of a $140M financing, led by Ally Bridge Group, with participation from new investors Eventide Asset Management, BeiGene, Irving Investors, Kingdon, NS Investment, Piper Heartland Healthcare Capital, and Superstring.  Existing investors Boxer Capital, BVF Partners, L.P., Commodore Capital, Cormorant Asset Management, Janus Henderson Investors, Kite, a Gilead Company, Stork Capital, Wedbush Healthcare Partners and an undisclosed leading global investment firm, also participated.  In connection with the financing, Frank Yu, Founder, CEO and CIO of Ally Bridge Group, joined the Shoreline Board of Directors.   

“We are proud of Shoreline’s tremendous progress over the past year, including next generation, more persistent and more effective iPSC-derived NK cells, enhancing our core technologies, advancing our preclinical programs, establishing transformative and validating partnerships with Kite and BeiGene, creating smart manufacturing methods, and attracting exceptional talent to support our next phase of development and growth,” said Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos, Ph.D., Shoreline’s co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “With this financing and our corporate partnerships, Shoreline has now more than $300 million to continue building our pipeline of safe, effective and affordable cellular immunotherapies for both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.”

“Having invested in – and followed closely for several years — the iPSC-derived NK cells-based therapeutics field which has made highly encouraging progress in the clinic, we are convinced of the true differentiation demonstrated by the Shoreline technology platform. Ally Bridge Group, a leading investor in best-in-class cell therapy companies from oncology to autoimmune diseases, expects Shoreline to be a new category leader,” said Frank Yu, Founder, CEO and CIO of Ally Bridge Group.   

The proceeds from the financing will allow Shoreline to continue the advancement of its proprietary iPSC platform focused on developing next generation natural killer (NK) cell and macrophage-cell therapies, create potent and persistent NK cell-specific Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) as well as switchable CAR-NK cell engagers and macrophage-specific CARs to treat blood cancers, solid tumors, and other health conditions.   With the close of this financing, Shoreline is well-capitalized with greater than $300 million, including committed partnership R&D funding, to execute on its goals and advance its pipeline.

About Shoreline Biosciences

Shoreline is dedicated to creating next-generation cellular immunotherapies for cancer that overcome the current limitations of first-generation cell therapy products.  Shoreline is building a pipeline of natural killer cell and macrophage-cell therapy candidates derived from its deep expertise in iPSC differentiation methods and genetic reprogramming of disease relevant pathways.  Shoreline has strategic partnerships with Kite, a Gilead Company, and BeiGene, a global biotechnology company, Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization partnerships with well-established organizations, and is supported by high-quality investors.  Shoreline Biosciences is headquartered in San Diego, CA. 

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Shoreline Biosciences Investor and Media Contact:
Amy Conrad
Juniper Point

San Diego biotech raises $140M in quest for ‘one-size-fits-all’ cancer treatments


San Diego biotech Shoreline Biosciences announced Tuesday that it has raised $140 million to fund a one-size-fits-all strategy that would use genetically modified immune cells to kill cancer cells.

That’s a popular goal these days. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a growing list of so-called CAR-T therapies, which take a patient’s own immune cells, equip them to recognize and attack a certain cancer, and reinfuse those modified cells back into the patient.

This approach has proven life-changing for some people, but it’s got drawbacks. In some cases, CAR-T therapy triggers overwhelming inflammation that can be debilitating — even deadly. And making tailored treatments is expensive and time-consuming, sometimes taking several weeks. That’s time the sickest patients don’t have.

To avoid these issues, Shoreline’s taking a different tack, developing “off-the-shelf” immune cell therapies that could work across patients. To do so, the company is coaxing stem cells to grow into two types of immune cells in the lab. These are natural killer cells, which target cancerous and infected cells, and macrophages, which clear out dead cells, alert other immune cells and regulate wound healing and tissue repair.

CAR-T therapies use T cells, which can trigger strong immune responses but will also attack healthy tissue if used in a different patient. That’s why CAR-T is currently a bespoke treatment.

Shoreline’s idea is to equip natural killer cells and macrophages with proteins they’ll need to recognize and fight against different cancer types, including leukemias and lymphomas. The company plans to eventually target some inflammatory diseases, too.

“We want to ultimately use cell therapy in a community setting exactly like the way you take a pill for any chronic disease,” said CEO Kleanthis Xanthopoulos.

The company, founded in the spring of 2020, has raised more than $300 million. The latest

Imagining the future of medicine and healthcare is one thing, evolving those ideas from science fiction to science reality is quite another. But that’s exactly what the Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) Research & Development site in San Diego is…

“We have tons of money,” Xanthopoulos said. “If we cannot prove that we can do what our vision states, then we’re not worth, obviously, that investment.”

The company expects to begin clinical trials on at least one of its experimental treatments by the end of 2022 and hopes to have a steady stream of one to two drugs entering clinical trials each year that follows.

Shoreline struck deals in June with two other biotechs, Kite and BeiGene, to help turn its basic science into biomedical breakthroughs. The deal with California firm Kite, a Gilead subsidiary, has Shoreline conducting early-stage research on three blood cancer treatments for Kite, which will take over once the drugs are cleared to enter clinical trials. That deal could be worth $2.3 billion-plus royalties if all goes well.

The biotech is also working with China-based BeiGene on four cancer-immune cell therapies. Shoreline will have the option to retain the rights to develop and sell two of these products in the U.S. and Canada, and Xanthopoulos says the collaboration could bring the company up to $1.3 billion.

Shoreline has close ties with UC San Diego, and has licensed much of its technology from stem cell expert Dr. Dan Kaufman, UCSD’s director of cell therapy, who is one of the company’s co-founders, serves as chief scientific officer and sits on the firm’s board.

Other local companies are also developing off-the-shelf immune cell therapies against various cancers, including Fate Therapeutics, Poseida Therapeutics and Artiva Biotherapeutics.

Xanthopoulos says there’s plenty of space for everyone, likening this wide-open field to antibodies, which countless biotechs use in different ways for different diseases. The veteran biotech entrepreneur has been the founding CEO of four other San Diego life science firms: Regulus Therapeutics, Anadys Pharmaceuticals, Senté Labs and IRRAS. Regulus, Anadys and IRRAS all went public, with Roche later acquiring Anadys for $230 million.

Shoreline, headquarted in Sorrento Valley, has about 50 employees, though the company will double in size within the next year and has already signed a lease to expand its presence in the Sorrento area.