cancer

cancer

Justin Han

Some 15-odd years ago, the Alliance for SoCal Innovation put on a workshop for academics looking to wade into the world of commercialized technology.

Fast forward to 2022 and the Alliance is gearing up for the latest edition of its annual First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase, taking place Tuesday at the Skirball Cultural Center. This year’s lineup of 24 early-stage life sciences and tech startups—tapped from the Alliance’s network of universities and incubators—will have the chance to pitch their ventures and meet with potential investors, mentors and industry executives as they look for what, in most cases, will be their first round of commercial funding.

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Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

Santa Monica-based Kite Pharma, a subsidiary of biopharma giant Gilead Sciences, announced on Friday that it has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration for a new immunotherapy drug that can be used in the early-stage treatment of certain cancers.

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Cell therapy has taken the oncology world by storm.

For cancer patients who have tried every other treatment, cell therapies not only have the potential to kill cancer cells in the moment, but they can multiply and continue bolstering the immune system in the future. But the treatment — often used only as a last resort — is expensive, time-consuming and potentially fatal.

Appia Bio, a Westwood-based biotech startup that came out of stealth on Tuesday, hopes to speed up the process with a new type of treatment known as allogeneic cell therapies. The company is armed with $52 million in Series A funding led by venture capital firm 8VC.

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