eGenesis Raises $ 125 Million in Series C Funding to “Transform” Transplant Medicine

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Biotechnology of Cambridge, Mass., Which uses gene-editing technologies for the development of safe and efficient human-compatible organs, tissues and cells to address the global organ shortage, said that the profits will be used to bring its main programs into kidney and island cells. transplantation in proof-of-concept studies in humans.

In addition, the capital will go to the continued development of its gene editing platform and the scaling up of GMP production.

Srini Akkaraju, Founder and Managing Partner of Samsara BioCapital, one of the cycle’s investors, said the work eGenesis is doing in the area of ​​Langerhans kidney and islet transplants could address the rapidly growing unmet need patients with renal failure and type 1 diabetes. “EGenesis has developed a scientific platform that will transform transplant medicine. ”

Other investors involved in raising capital were Farallon Capital Management, Polaris Partners, HBM Healthcare Investments, Invus, Samsara BioCapital, LifeSci Venture Partners, Irving Investors, Catalio Capital Management, SymBiosis, Altium Capital, Monashee Investment Management and Osage University Partners. .

Existing investors – Leaps by Bayer, Fresenius Medical Care Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Wellington Partners, Khosla Ventures and Alta Partners – also participated in the round.

Demand for organs exceeds supply

The demand for rescue bodies far exceeds the available supply. “In the United States alone, more than 110,000 people are on the national transplant list. 20 people die every day due to the lack of organs available for transplantation and every 10 minutes a new name is added to the national transplant waiting list ”, says the developer.

The company seeks to address the key issues that have hampered xenotransplantation, which is the transplantation of organs, tissues and cells from a species to date.

While the concept of xenotransplantation has been explored for decades, with the pig being considered the most suitable donor for humans, obstacles in virology and immunology have prevented the field from going beyond early preclinical research.

With the advent of advanced gene editing technologies, such as CRISPR, addressing these historic challenges is now within reach, argues eGenesis.

Currently, eGenesis is advancing an initial product into the renal transplant clinic, with the longer-term potential to address a larger population of organ recipients and to extend the applicability of xenotransplantation to others. areas such as cell therapy.

Partnerships

In November of last year, the company announced a research collaboration with Duke University School of Medicine. This alliance will leverage the genomic engineering and transgenic production capabilities of eGenesis to perform in vivo testing of pancreatic islet cell xenografts in non-human primate recipients, as a prerequisite for moving into xeno-human clinical trials. for patients with type 1 diabetes.

The research will be carried out in the laboratory of Dr. Allan Kirk, professor in the Department of Immunology at Duke University School of Medicine. “There are 1.6 million Americans living with type 1 diabetes whose quality of life is greatly impacted by monitoring their glucose levels and the need for multiple injections of insulin daily.he said. “With advancements in gene-editing technology, there now exists the potential to safely develop and transplant compatible human xeno-islet cells, which could allow these patients to reduce or eliminate their need for monitoring. blood sugar and insulin injections. The research we will conduct at Duke will help determine whether a minimally invasive approach in human clinical studies might be possible. “

This collaboration is in addition to an existing eGenesis partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital, which biotechnology initiated in 2017, and which was extended last June. The partners are evaluating xenotransplantation of organs from genetically modified pigs into non-human primates as a basis for testing these organs in humans. While the focus is on renal xenografts, the collaboration will also study other tissues and organs.


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