Cancer-Fighting Firm Based on UMN Research Raises $42 Million

Branden Moriarity, PhD. Photo: Masonic Cancer Center, UMN

Catamaran Bio, a biotechnology startup developing new cancer treatments based in part on University of Minnesota research, has raised $42 million in venture capital.

Branden Moriarity, 37, an assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology at the university, is one of the two scientific founders of Catamaran. Moriarity is expert in engineering NK and other immune cells for cell therapy.

“This is technology that I developed to engineer immune cells called ‘natural-killer cells,’ and we engineer the cells by changing their genetic code to kill the cancer cells,” Moriarity said in an interview Monday. “It’s a new way to treat cancer. Others are doing this of course. But we at the U of M … have demonstrated a unique ability to engineer these cells and related technology.”

Read the full story in the Star Tribune.