Artiva Biotherapeutics Inc has raised $78 million in a series A investment round from U.S. bio venture capitals, including 5AM Ventures, venBIO, and RA Capital. 

The company is a U.S.-based entity set up in San Diego last year by South Korea’s Green Cross Holdings and Green Cross Lab Cell to develop cell therapy products. 

These products include cellular immunotherapies, cancer vaccines and other types of both autologous and allogeneic cells for therapeutic indications like hematopoetic stem cells and adult and embryonic stem cells, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

With the latest investment Artiva Biotherapeutics will develop next-generation treatments, using natural killer (NK) cells, a type of immunologically competent cells that destroy cancer cells. It also plans to launch a clinical trial in the U.S. of AB101, an umbilical cord blood-originating NK cell treatment, during the third quarter.

Tom Farrell, chief executive of the company, said he expects the new investment to help accelerate the demonstration and development of multiple candidates in clinical trials. (Reporting by Jinwon Lee)