RALEIGH – A Raleigh biotechnology startup is putting an initial $26 million investment into the establishment of a teamwork approach to enhance efficiencies for cell- and gene-based cancer therapy developers.

Inceptor Bio has announced the launch of its advanced manufacturing platform, which it calls AMP+, using cell- and gene-based therapies to treat the most stubborn cancers.

The seed-stage company focuses on therapies that strengthen immune cell performance in parts of the body where the cancer is found. The 16-month-old company’s AMP+ model envisions a “family” of biotech companies in a shared manufacturing facility. Each subsidiary would function independently, using its unique skillsets in specific technologies to aid each other, all under one roof.

The collaborative space would allow for research and development of various therapies, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) such as CAR-T, CAR-M or CAR-NK/NKT, all of which attack cancer cells via immunotherapy. Inceptor Bio says its AMP+ approach offers enhanced speed, operational flexibility and control, optimized multi-platform costs, scalability, and an increased value for the product. It creates an environment where experts in different therapies converse regularly, and innovation is a daily to-do.

This internal control of development and manufacturing can also aid in the clinical-trial stage of processing medicines. Finding manufacturing space and materials can be an obstacle for companies once they reach Phase 1 and 2 of clinical trials. Brilliant therapies can become stagnant in the complicated regulatory approval processes, so by offering the space and materials necessary to complete trials, Inceptor Bio believes it can help relevant therapies reach fruition.

Launching 20 companies over 20 years

Inceptor Bio’s business plan spans decades, with a goal of launching 20 subsidiary companies in 20 years. Its partnership list starts with FastBack Bio, which specializes in CAR-T therapy to treat solid tumors. The technology was licensed from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the two entities continue their partnership today. Inceptor Bio stresses the importance of partnering with university research programs, so relationships like this can be expected in the future.

Inceptor Bio leaders include Mike Nicholson, Ph.D., and Chris Heery, M.D., who both helped develop the gene-editing platform and CAR-T therapies at Durham-based Precision Biosciences. Dave Ousterout, Ph.D., co-founded Morrisville’s Locus Biosciences, is chief scientific officer. Also, Inceptor Bio’s founder and CEO, Shailesh Maingi, founded Kineticos Life Sciences, a Raleigh-based consulting firm for life sciences companies.

Inceptor Bio’s announcement follows a $26 million investment from the Kineticos Disruptor Fund, given to companies that challenge the standard for treating cancers and rare diseases.

“[Inceptor Bio] has an exceptional cell and gene therapy team, dedicated manufacturing in AMP+, and a unique collaborative model with top research universities,” said Frank Lis, ventures president and chief executive officer of Kineticos, in a news release. “The products being developed by Inceptor Bio will have a profound impact on the lives of many cancer patients.”