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Wheeler Bio Announces Initial Closing of Series A Round Supporting New Biologics Drug Substance GMP Expansion In Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY (OKC) – October 04, 2022 – Wheeler Bio, a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing in small batch clinical production of biologics and GMP-grade reagents using their open-source platform, Portable CMC™, today announced the first closing of their Series A financing round. The round was co-led by Charles River Laboratories and Echo Investment Capital with participation from ATUM, Floating Point Advisors, Plains Venture Partners (a subsidiary of i2E), and Pine Ridge Ventures.
Wheeler Bio is solving for the typical momentum drop between discovery and development. This early “translation gap” poses significant challenges for emerging biotechs adding technical, financial, and regulatory risks. Wheeler Bio believes that this gap can be minimized through efficient partnering and democratization of standardized manufacturing platforms.
“I am thrilled to have the support of investors and partners who agree that innovators need to minimize friction points more than ever before in the face of new market headwinds,” said Jesse McCool, co-Founder and CEO at Wheeler Bio. “A key part of our thesis has been that by making the clinical manufacturing process more transparent, cost-effective, and integrated with coastal drug discovery partners, like Alloy Therapeutics, biotechs will have more opportunities to create clinical impact.”
John Loser, Managing Partner at Floating Point agrees that “by closing the translation gap between drug discovery and scale-up manufacturing, Wheeler makes bringing novel therapeutics to market faster and more affordable for the next generation of biotech innovators.”
Wheeler will use the new funding to expand its state-of-the-art drug substance GMP manufacturing facility in the Ziggurat building in Oklahoma City. Through key strategic partnerships with recognized CRO providers, like Alloy Therapeutics and ATUM, Wheeler Bio will continue building an innovative hub-and-spoke business model that connects cutting-edge biologics discovery technologies with an agile, open-source biomanufacturing platform for GMP clinical trial material.
“Alloy is building an innovative drug discovery ecosystem to empower the global scientific community to make better medicines together. A key part of that is our venture studio, 82VS, which supports the efficient launch of next generation medicines companies. We are excited about our partnership with Wheeler, which connects our brilliant scientists and entrepreneurs to high quality, pre-competitive small batch manufacturing — ultimately enabling them to move more quickly to the clinic,” said Errik Anderson, Founder and CEO at Alloy Therapeutics.
“Echo and its partners are focused on connecting companies, capabilities, communities, and capital for everyone’s benefit,” said Christian Kanady, Echo’s Founding Partner. “Investing with respected coastal resources to advance Wheeler Bio’s growth is another step forward in connecting Oklahoma with the world and the world with Oklahoma. Together, we are accelerating drug development and unlocking the state’s unique potential.”
Oklahoma City (OKC) has long been a production, distribution, and business services hub. Key advantages include consistently lower business costs, a ready biomanufacturing workforce, a world-class training network of 16 technology centers, 18 public and private universities, major medical and aerospace research centers, “shovel ready” sites with interstate, rail and runway access, and special incentives. OKC was recently awarded $35 MM by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to further advance the bioecosystem, including specific funding for biomanufacturing workforce development.
Bruce Lawrence, Founding Partner, Pine Ridge Ventures further commented, “Pine Ridge Ventures is excited to be participating in Oklahoma’s biotech transformation. We appreciate the expertise, vision, and other strategic partners that Wheeler Bio is bringing to this space and look forward to Wheeler Bio’s continued growth.”
That’s Nice LLC provided M&A advisory services to Wheeler Bio for the Series A Round.
For Further Information:
Contact: Jesse McCool
405 279 6767
About Wheeler Bio
Wheeler Bio is a biomanufacturing pioneer, founded by a team of industry experts and strategic investors who believe a different CDMO model is needed to help innovators reach their clinical milestones faster. Wheeler’s novel hub-and-spoke operational model, centered in the biomanufacturing metro of Oklahoma City (OKC) and integrated with discovery CROs, will revolutionize the speed of drug development. Wheeler Bio’s technology platform, Portable CMC™, simplifies the path between drug discovery and clinical manufacturing by standardizing and democratizing the innovation-to-impact process. A new bridge for translating discoveries to IND filing, innovators benefit from increased momentum during technology transfer, shorter timelines, and lower costs. Join the Wheeler Bio community by visiting www.wheelerbio.com, or following Wheeler Bio on LinkedIn.