Cytovia Therapeutics takes a holistic bench-to-bedside approach, applying both first and best-in-class technologies to address the toughest medical challenges. They believe that the next frontier in immunotherapy will harness the power of Natural Killer Cells to defeat cancer and severe acute infectious diseases.
Since you are a biotech entrepreneur, can you tell us about your latest venture?
We started Cytovia Therapeutics, a new biotech company, in 2019. Our focus is on Natural Killer Cells, a first line of defense against cancer and viral infections. These cells offer a breakthrough by allowing for the manufacturing of an unlimited number of NK cells at an industrial level from a source of pluripotent stem cells. They can either be universal or targeted to specific cancers through genetic engineering. This approach has been recently validated through initial clinical trials and we expect to treat patients in clinical trials with our own products starting in 2021.
How has the company been funded to date?
Management and a small number of private investors have funded the first 18 months of the company. We are in advanced discussions with blue-chip institutional investors and larger pharmaceutical companies to step up financing and accelerate the company’s growth. Several young biotech companies have NASDAQ valuations of over $1 billion, so there is strong interest from investors for disruptive companies to consider a public listing.
How has the pandemic impacted your business?
Over $8 billion of new money has been raised in the spring by biotech-specialist investors during the heights of the COVID-19 crisis. There is a steady flow of large private investment rounds, successful IPOs, and reverse mergers with NASDAQ companies. Biotech stocks continue to reach new highs and M&A and partnerships are active. We expect that trend to continue in 2021, particularly for companies with disruptive innovation in areas of important medical need.
Has COVID-19 changed how you work?
Clearly, our day-to-day has changed. Our company has a management team located across the U.S. and some members are overseas in Europe and Israel. We communicate virtually through video technologies. We have not had many face-to-face meetings since March 2020 and travel has stopped, particularly for long-distance and international trips. Many of us were initially skeptical, but productivity is actually higher than before.
By DR. DANIEL TEPER