KyvernaThe cell therapy company Kyverna Therapeutics (Emeryville, California) has closed an oversubscribed $85 million Series B funding round led by Northpond Ventures.

The company plans to use the funding to launch a Phase 2 trial for its lead asset, KYV-101, in the first half of 2022.

KYV-101 is an autologous anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) construct with potential applications in B cell-driven autoimmune diseases, including lupus nephritis, systemic sclerosis and inflammatory myopathies.

Kyverna secured rights to KYV-101 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for autologous and allogeneic CAR T-cell therapies.

Kyverna will also use the most recent funding to further the development of KYV-201, an investigational candidate that integrates its CD19 CAR T construct with Intellia’s (NSDQ:NTLA) ex vivoCRISPR/Cas9-based allogeneic platform.

The company also intends to use its recent funding to bolster its development activities of engineered allogeneic and autologous T-cell therapies for various autoimmune diseases.

Kyverna has a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences (NSDQ:GILD) related to engineered T-cell therapies.

Original investors in Kyverna include Westlake Village BioPartners, Vida Ventures, and Gilead Sciences. New investors include RTW Investments, LP, CAM Capital, Insight Partners, HealthCor, LYFE Capital, Intellia Therapeutics, Argentum Peak, Hudson Bay Capital and jVen Capital.

Before the Series B funding round, the company had raised $25 million.

In September 2021, the company appointed the former Genentech CEO Ian Clark as chair of its board. At that time, the company also installed Karen Walker as its chief technology officer, who formerly was a senior advisor, cell and gene therapy manufacturing at Genentech.