A new biotech start-up Celularity is mining the human placenta for stem cells to use in new applications, including helping cancer patients and extending human life.
The start-up, which launched in September and is headquartered in Warren, N.J., announced Thursday it has raised $250 million in venture capital from global biopharmaceutical company Celgene, biotechnology company United Therapeutics Corporation, biopharmaceutical company Sorrento Therapeutics, DNA sequencing and machine learning company Human Longevity, Inc. and a collection of venture capitalists.
The company also has a star-studded board of directors: Apple and Pepsi-Cola executive John Sculley, Google Ventures founder Bill Maris and the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Andrew Von Eschenbach.
Celularity harvests the particularly potent stem cells from the placenta to make a number of medical products.
"Think about what we do as a form of a refinery business. Think of the placenta as biological crude oil. We do the discovery and drilling, if you will," says Dr. Robert Hariri, a co-founder and the CEO of Celularity, tells CNBC Make It.
Hariri is an engineer, surgeon, jet pilot and entrepreneur. He first started working with placental stem cells in 1998. His co-founder for Celularity, Peter Diamandis, is a well-known serial entrepreneur who founded the XPRIZE Foundation and another company in the longevity space, Human Longevity Inc.