Prellis Biologics Launches In Vitro Human Antibody Discovery Platform, Announces $14.5 Million Series B Investment, Key Executive Hires

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First in class engineered lymph node organoids for ultra-rapid, tolerance breaking, antibody discovery for all in cancer immunotherapy, autoimmune and infectious disease.

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Prellis Biologics announced today that it has closed a $14.5 million Series B financing round, led by Celesta Capital and current investor Khosla Ventures Prellis will use the proceeds to advance its Externalized Immune System (EXIS™) platform, a first-in-class in vitro, fully human antibody discovery, and vaccine screening workflow.

“The EXIS platform offers unprecedented in vitro access to a functional human immune system. We’ve built a platform that enables promising science to be rapidly advanced into new patient therapies,” said Dr. Melanie P. Matheu, Founder and CEO. “We’re thrilled to continue expanding upon the exciting potential of this technology, thanks to the support of our investors and collaboration partners.”

Joining the board as part of the series B financing are Michael Marks, General Partner at Celesta Capital, and Shaun Holt, former COO of single-cell discovery company Berkeley Lights.

“We are extremely excited about the technology Prellis has developed and were delighted to support this investment,” said Marks. “Today, pharmaceutical antibody discovery takes a long time, carries high costs due to reliance on animals, and the antibodies too rarely perform as hoped once they reach human trials. We are ready to support marketing for the EXIS platform now that initial deals have helped to prove out its great potential.”

In addition to the financing momentum, Prellis has recruited a pair of seasoned industry executives to support expansion of their EXIS platform:

  • Kevin Chapman, PhD, formerly of Berkeley Lights, Inc. and Merck & Co., Inc., as Chief Scientific Officer
  • Yelda Kaya, MBBS, LLB, MBA, formerly of J&J Innovation, GSK and Ashurst, as Chief Business Officer

The EXIS platform functions precisely like a human lymph node: enabling cell-cell interactions in tissue and immune responses, B cell class switching, somatic hypermutation and development of antigen-specific human antibodies from multiple donors. The Prellis approach uses an antigen challenge carefully designed to ‘break tolerance’ a naturally embedded fail-safe that prevents auto-antibody development. EXIS unlocks fully human antibody development for all therapeutic areas including cancer and autoimmune disease, dramatically accelerating the development of much needed therapeutics, with demonstrated platform expansion into camelid nanobody discovery.

“EXIS is an ultra-fast, animal-free platform for raising human antibodies to human proteins,” said Kevin Chapman, CSO. “In a matter of a few months, the team has been able to generate state of the art human antibody libraries against a whole host of immune-oncology targets. We are extremely excited to extend the system to human immunogenicity testing, and patient antibody mining.”


Prellis Biologics, Inc. is the first company to develop a fully synthetic, animal-free functional human immune system. Prellis developed the first holographic printing system able to match and accurately replicate human organ and tissue structures for R&D and organ transplantation. The combined resolution and speed of Prellis Biologics’ printing technology allows for human tissue and organ systems to be created in a scalable and biocompatible fashion. Prellis is dedicated to improving patient lives by discovering novel therapeutics utilizing its unique capabilities in antibody discovery, in vitro human disease models, and ultimately by solving the global human organ transplant shortage. Prellis Biologics, Inc. was founded in 2016 and is a privately held company based in San Francisco, CA. Learn more at

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Julia van Broek
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