Biotech startup Cellino raises $16M seed funding to pursue cell-therapy cures and personalized regenerative medicine treatments
Cellino Biotech, a Cambridge, MA-based startup that develops intracellular delivery lasers and nanotechnology for gene editing applications. announced today it has closed $16 million in seed funding to advance its AI-guided laser platform to automate and scale autologous cell-and tissue-based therapies. The round was co-led by The Engine and Khosla Ventures, with participation from Humboldt Fund and 8VC.
Founded in 2017 by Marinna Madrid, Matthias Wagner, Nabiha Saklayen, and Stan Wang, Cellino makes stem cell differentiation a digital process, applying the latest tools from optics, biology, and computation to engineer functionally mature cells. Its technology enables the acceleration of the development time of engineered cells from years to weeks. The startup has also developed a scalable platform that automates and standardizes autologous stem cell production, accelerating the development of life-saving medicines for patients.
Cellino also said that it will use the fresh funding to automate and scale its transformative AI-based personalized tissue and cell platform. Cellino is developing an automated process to generate autologous induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) at scale. The proprietary platform converges breakthrough technologies across optics, biology, and machine learning to engineer high functionality cells with unrivaled consistency and yield.
“This seed financing round enables us to build towards a democratized future for autologous cells and tissues,” said Nabiha Saklayen, Ph.D., CEO & Co-Founder, Cellino. “I’m thrilled to be leading a team that brings together diverse backgrounds spanning laser physics, stem cell biology, and machine learning, to achieve our shared mission to increase patient access to custom regenerative therapies.”
“Companies that disrupt entire industries and processes don’t normally originate from a single discipline,” said Alex Morgan, M.D., Ph.D., Partner at Khosla Ventures. “By using single-cell laser processing and AI-guided automation to engineer cells at scale, Cellino is well-positioned to lead the next-generation of personalized regenerative medicines.”
“Stem cell-derived therapies promise regenerative and curative therapies for many diseases,” said Ann DeWitt, Ph.D., General Partner at The Engine, the VC firm spun out of MIT. “Cellino’s transformative approach will dramatically improve quality and scale. The company’s leadership team has the experience and vision to make it a reality.”
Cellino’s platform automates stem cell production using image-guided machine learning, single-cell laser processing, and robotics. By standardizing manufacturing in a closed format, Cellino creates an opportunity to seamlessly scale from pre-clinical process development to commercial-scale manufacturing for autologous iPSC-based therapies.