Dhvanit Shah Launches Garuda Therapeutics With $72 Million Series A Financing

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Dhvanit Shah

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.– Garuda Therapeutics, a company creating off-the-shelf, durable blood stem cell therapies, launched with an oversubscribed $72 million Series A financing led by Aisling Capital, Northpond Ventures and Orbimed, supported by Cormorant Asset Management, Ridgeback Capital Investments, Monashee Investment Management, Sectoral Asset Management, National Resilience, Inc. (Resilience), Mass General Brigham Ventures, among others.

Garuda is developing the world’s first, off-the-shelf hematopoietic stem cell platform that will eliminate dependency on donor or patient cells.

Garuda is founded by Dhvanit Shah, Ph.D., who previously served as Principal Faculty of Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and Principal Investigator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Other prominent scientific founders of Garuda include David Scadden, M.D. and Sean Morrison, Ph.D., who are industry and academic leaders with a strong history of developing transformative medicines and successful company exits. Garuda has also attracted veterans like Eric Aguiar, M.D. of Aisling; Carl Gordon, Ph.D., CFA, of OrbiMed; Shaan C. Gandhi, M.D., D.Phil, of Northpond; and Rahul Singhvi, Sc.D., of Resilience to its board of directors.

Garuda’s platform for generating off-the-shelf, self-renewing blood stem cells is designed to provide patients with rapid and broad access to consistent, durable, HLA-matched transgene-free blood stem cell therapies. Currently, patients seeking a blood stem cell transplant, must find a suitable human donor as a source of blood stem cells. Unfortunately, racial minority and mixed race patients face greater barriers than white patients in finding suitable blood stem cell matches. Like bone marrow transplants, Garuda’s technology has the potential to address, and possibly cure, more than 70 diseases. It also overcomes many limitations of current practices and could potentially offer treatment options to patients irrespective of their racial background.

“Our technology has the potential to transform blood stem cell transplants, revolutionizing the landscape of medicine,” said Mr. Shah, Ph.D., Co-Founder, President and CEO of Garuda Therapeutics. “Eliminating the need for donor or patient cells while gaining the ability to exploit stem cell engineering would democratize blood stem cell transplants, ensuring this vital, and often curative, therapy can be made accessible to any bone marrow transplant eligible patient in need. Today, we are thrilled to launch Garuda with the support of our incredible investors and management team, comprised of industry experts in blood stem cell and bone marrow transplants.”

Garuda’s pipeline includes therapeutic indications in hematologic malignancies, sickle cell disease, β-thalassemia, bone marrow failure diseases, among others.

“The potential of Garuda’s breakthrough platform technology is immense, and this funding milestone brings us one step closer to delivering life changing cellular therapeutics to patients,” said David Scadden, M.D., Co-Director of Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard University.

“When patients need a blood stem cell transplant, we are dependent on finding suitable human donor material as a source of blood stem cells. Our current options for blood stem cells are limited by many factors that present significant challenges – including the scale, timeliness of collection, durability, quality and safety of blood stem cell material. However, with Garuda’s new off-the-shelf platform technology, it is possible that patients won’t need to wait for the opportunity for curative therapy, and all of our patients could potentially benefit from consistent off-the-shelf blood stem cells,” said Robert Negrin, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine and Scientific Advisory Board member of Garuda.

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