Manufacturing the Future of Cell Therapy: Our Series C in Cellares

Justin Butler


Aug 23, 2023



The Eclipse team is thrilled to continue our partnership with Cellares to deliver on its mission to accelerate access to life-saving cell therapies at low cost and commercial scale.

The global cell therapy market grew rapidly in recent years and is estimated to be greater than $45B by 2030. With nearly 800 active and enrolling cell therapy trials for a broad variety of applications — including both blood and tumor cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, ALS, Alzheimer’s, and on — and FDA approval for six cell therapies and approvals for 10-20 more cell and gene therapies expected by 2025, cell therapies continue to make significant progress against a wide range of cancers and other diseases. But, the success of these therapies doesn’t just hinge on proving that a product elicits the desired biological response — none of that matters if the patients who need the therapies are unable to receive them. The biggest obstacle standing in the way of delivering life-saving cell therapies are manufacturing and supply chain bottlenecks. No scalable manufacturing solution exists for cell therapies and current processes are disjointed, cost prohibitive, failure prone, and unable to meet market demand. To meet these supply chain challenges and deliver on the promise of cell therapies, companies need innovative technologies and strategies. 

Since early 2019, Cellares has been at work to deliver on its mission to accelerate access to life-saving cell therapies at cost and scale by providing a flexible and scalable manufacturing solution with fully integrated hardware and software. Today, the company announced it has secured its $255M Series C to launch the first Integrated Development and Manufacturing Organization (IDMO) dedicated to clinical and industrial-scale cell therapy manufacturing. Eclipse is thrilled to continue our partnership with the Cellares team — along with Decheng Capital, 8VC — and welcome new investors Koch Disruptive Technologies, Bristol Myers Squibb, DFJ Growth, and Willett Advisors.

In early 2018, The Eclipse team began building a thesis in cell therapy after it became apparent to us that this class of drugs — cell therapy, gene therapies, radiopharmaceuticals, etc. —  would equate to the largest shift in the pharmaceutical industry since the advent of biologics. We recognized current manufacturing technology and infrastructure could not — and would not — meet the scale or cost required for both current and future demand. Armed with this knowledge, we embarked on a search to find a team building a fully integrated hardware and software solution that would enable this critical market to meet its full potential. When we met Cellares Co-Founders, Fabian Gerlinghaus and Omar Kurdi, it was evident our visions of the opportunity and solution required to meet the industry’s needs were aligned. Fabian and Omar each had deep expertise building novel hardware and software solutions for various biological functions due to their backgrounds at industry leading firms like Synthego and Thermo Fisher. We backed them with conviction in their $18M Series A in 2019 and co-led the company’s $82M Series B in 2021.

Since Cellares’ Series B, the company has made tremendous technical progress in the form of building a fully operational Cell Shuttle and companion cartridge. This system can execute fully automated end-to-end cell therapy production that meets or exceeds all of the critical quality attributes necessary for commercial operations. To define and establish the characteristics that represent best-in-class performance data, the Cellares team continues to work closely with their advisors, including Dr. Carl June and Dr. Megan Suhoski Davis at the University of Pennsylvania. 

The Cellares Cell Shuttle

With this new round of funding, Cellares will launch the world’s first commercial-scale IDMO Smart Factory, which seamlessly integrates advanced robotics, purpose-built technology, and interconnected software. The 118,000 sq. ft. IDMO Smart Factory will be capable of producing 40,000 cell therapy batches per year. By leveraging integrated technologies, these factories will continue to produce 10 times more cell therapy batches per year — all with the same footprint and workforce of traditional Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) facilities. Cellares’ first commercial factory will be located in Bridgewater, New Jersey, and additional factories will be deployed around the world to enable the cell therapy industry to meet global patient demand. 

Cellares' Smart Factory in Bridgewater, NJ

When we first invested in Cellares, cell therapy was still in its infancy. It’s now clear that cell therapy can and will be one of the core modalities for not only fighting cancer, but all kinds of diseases. The Eclipse team believes Cellares’ solution will lead the way to unlock and transform cell therapy manufacturing and are honored to be their partners on this important journey.

Congratulations Fabian, Omar, and the entire Cellares team!

More on today’s news from Bloomberg Tech.

Follow Eclipse on LinkedIn for the latest on the Industrial Evolution.


  • Cell Therapy
  • Cellares
  • Healthcare Infrastructure
  • Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain

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