BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ensoma, a company expanding the curative power of genomic medicine by pioneering a next-generation in vivo approach, today launched with a $70 million Series A financing led by co-founder and seed investor 5AM Ventures, with participation from F-Prime Capital, Takeda Ventures, Viking Global Investors, Cormorant Asset Management, RIT Capital Partners, Symbiosis II, LLC, and Alexandria Venture Investments. In addition to an equity investment of $10 million in the Series A financing, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) and Ensoma have entered into a strategic collaboration with the potential for upfront and preclinical research payments totaling $100 million as part of a strategic collaboration worth up to $1.25 billion, announced in a separate press release this morning.
The foundation of the companys platform its Engenious vectors is based on over two decades of academic and clinical research generated by scientific co-founders and renowned experts, Hans-Peter Kiem, M.D., Ph.D., of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and Andr Lieber, M.D., Ph.D., of University of Washington School of Medicine. The company will be led by biotechnology industry veterans with demonstrated track records in innovative therapeutic modalities, including gene therapy and editing, across an array of disease areas, including rare disease, hematology and oncology.
Ensomas Engenious vectors are designed to deliver a diverse range of genome modification technologies including those that require a high level of packaging capacity directly to hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or the various cell types that arise from these cells, such as T cells, B cells and myeloid cells. The companys vectors are optimized to work without the need for stem cell collection or prior myeloablative conditioning (e.g., chemotherapy). As a result, Ensomas therapies will be designed to be delivered via single injection in diverse environments, including outpatient and areas where access to sophisticated healthcare systems may be limited.
With the launch of Ensoma, we aspire to bring innovative new treatments to patients in a way that is accessible for all, said Paula Soteropoulos, executive chairman of Ensoma. Because our in vivo therapies do not require prior conditioning or stem cell donors, we hope to deliver them as off-the-shelf treatments to address diseases both rare and common dramatically simplifying the logistics of scaling production and reducing patient and healthcare-system burden. Every person, no matter where they are in the world, should have access to the innovative technologies that are changing the way we treat disease.
Ensomas Engenious vectors are specially engineered adenovirus vectors devoid of any viral genome and minimal pre-existing immunity, thus minimizing the chance of an immune response and freeing up ample storage space up to 35 kilobases (kb) of DNA packaging capacity to deliver a diverse range of genome modification technologies. Also known as therapeutic cargo, these technologies may include, separately and in combination, the following:
These approaches enable Engenious vectors to engineer various erythroid, lymphoid (e.g., T cells, B cells) and myeloid (e.g., macrophages, microglia) cell types, with great precision and vast therapeutic potential. Addressable indications range from rare monogenic diseases to broader diseases such as oncology, autoimmunity and infectious diseases via precision, off-the-shelf engineering of the immune system.
Given the highly specific nature of these technologies, Ensomas Engenious vectors enable preferential targeting of HSCs inside the body. Additionally, Ensomas founders have developed an in vivo selection system that can increase the population of genetically modified HSCs, if needed. This proprietary approach enables precise titration to lasting therapeutic levels without the need to re-dose patients, bypassing the immunogenic challenges associated with re-dosing for some other gene therapy modalities.
Ensomas Engenious platform has been extensively validated in numerous preclinical models with a range of genome editing technologies, demonstrating robust genetic modification of bone marrow HSCs and stable long-term expression of therapeutic proteins in small and large preclinical models.
There have been tremendous advancements in technologies to precisely target, genetically edit and modify human disease. However, many of these tools pose delivery challenges; some lack the ability to reach the right cells within the body, while others lack the ability to broadly reach significant numbers of patients due to complex procedures and supply chain challenges, said Kush M. Parmar, M.D., Ph.D., founding chief executive officer of Ensoma. Ensomas scientific approach allows us to do what hasnt been done beforeto make the curative power of genomic medicine and stem cell technology portable so they may be administered in low-resource and outpatient settings for the very first time.
Leadership & Scientific Founders
Ensoma was founded by and incubated within the 4:59 Initiative, the company creation engine of 5AM Ventures. The companys scientific co-founders include Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem, an oncologist and world-renowned pioneer in gene-editing technologies, including stem cell and gene therapies, from Fred Hutch, who also serves as vice president of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy and chief scientific and clinical advisor for Ensoma; and Dr. Andr Lieber, an accomplished academic researcher and professor of medicine, Division of Medical Genetics, UW School of Medicine, who has studied the biological and translational aspects of human adenoviruses for more than two decades. Ensoma is based on an exclusively licensed portfolio of technologies developed by the Fred Hutch lab of Dr. Kiem and the University of Washington lab of Dr. Lieber that enable in vivo genome engineering and gene therapy advances of HSCs for therapeutic use in blood diseases.
Following more than 20 years of academic and clinical research, Ensoma has assembled an exceptional team to boldly forge a new era of genomic medicine in vivo, said Bihua Chen, founder and portfolio manager at Cormorant Asset Management. The company is moving swiftly to accelerate and broaden the therapeutic potential of its approach, and I am confident they have the right team and the right technology to potentially bring life-changing, curative therapies within reach for people all over the world.
Additional details surrounding company leadership, including its board of directors, are as follows:
Ensoma has also named its scientific advisory board, which may be viewed here.
About 5AM Ventures
Founded in 2002, 5AM actively invests in next-generation biotech companies. With approximately $1.5 billion raised since inception, 5AM has invested in 89 companies. For more information, please visit http://www.5amventures.com.
About the 4:59 Initiative
The 4:59 Initiative is the internal company creation engine at 5AM Ventures that helps discover, incubate, and fund breakthrough science. The 4:59 team provides hands-on scientific, strategic, and operational support, working closely with academics and entrepreneurs to advance breakthrough science and establish proof-of-concept data to enable a clear path to transformative therapies for patients.
- Precision Medicine Platform Aims to Advance Cancer Gene Therapies - HealthITAnalytics.com - February 11th, 2021
- Celebrate the Third Annual Medical Genetics Awareness Week April 13-16, 2021 - PRNewswire - February 11th, 2021
- The race to treat a rare, fatal syndrome may help others with common disorders like diabetes - Science Magazine - February 11th, 2021
- Myriad Genetics to Participate in Multiple Upcoming Health and Technology Conferences - GlobeNewswire - February 11th, 2021
- Neurons from patient blood cells enable researchers to test treatments for genetic brain disease - Brown University - February 11th, 2021
- The science behind those afternoon naps Harvard Gazette - Harvard Gazette - February 11th, 2021
- Im 28 and I Dont Know My Family HistoryHeres How That Affects My Health - Well+Good - February 11th, 2021
- Ensoma Launches with $70 Million Series A and Takeda Licensing Deal - BioSpace - February 11th, 2021
- Response to Cancer Immunotherapy May Be Affected by Genes We Carry from Birth - UCSF News Services - February 11th, 2021
- NeuBase Therapeutics Reports Financial Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2021 - GlobeNewswire - February 11th, 2021
- PM Modi Waives off Rs 6 Crore Tax on Imported Medicine for 6-month-old Baby Girl from Mumbai - News18 - February 11th, 2021
- GeneSight Psychotropic Test's Combinatorial Approach Proves Better than Single-Gene Testing at Predicting Patient Outcomes and Medication Blood Levels... - February 11th, 2021
- Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of the First Publication of the Human Genome - Scientific American - February 11th, 2021
- Stem Cell Study Illuminates the Cause of a Devastating Inherited Heart Disorder - Newswise - February 1st, 2021
- Mysterious untreatable fevers once devastated whole families. This doctor discovered what caused them - CNN - February 1st, 2021
- Decibel Therapeutics and Invitae Announce Launch of Amplify Genetic Testing Program - BioSpace - February 1st, 2021
- CCMB team identifies variants of genes that metabolise drugs - BusinessLine - February 1st, 2021
- Digbi Health's gut-microbiome and genetic-based obesity management program now allows 60,000 Doctors and Providers in Blue Shield of California's... - February 1st, 2021
- Copy number variations linked to autism have diverse but overlapping effects - Spectrum - February 1st, 2021
- Are Gene Therapies the Medicine of the Future? - BioSpace - February 1st, 2021
- Exploring the Relationship Between the Microbiome, Precision Medicine and Cancer - Technology Networks - February 1st, 2021
- Press Registration Is Now Open for the 2021 ACMG Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting - A Virtual Experience - PRNewswire - February 1st, 2021
- 4 New Life Sciences Licensing Deals and Investments to Watch - BioSpace - February 1st, 2021
- CRISPR Mutants - The Dawn of CRISPR Mutants - SAPIENS - SAPIENS - February 1st, 2021
- SMART Study Finds 22q11.2 Microdeletion Prevalence Much Higher than Expected - PRNewswire - February 1st, 2021
- Genomes, Maps, And How They Affect You - IFLScience - February 1st, 2021
- Are Phages Overlooked Mediators of Health and Disease? - The Scientist - February 1st, 2021
- Two Gene Therapies Fix Fault in Sickle Cell Disease and -thalassemia - MD Magazine - February 1st, 2021
- The First Targeted Therapy For Lung Cancer Patients With The KRAS Gene MutationExtraordinary Results With Sotorasib - SurvivorNet - February 1st, 2021
- Atsena Therapeutics Raises $55 Million Series A Financing to Advance LCA1 Gene Therapy Clinical Program, Two Preclinical Assets, and Novel Capsid... - December 17th, 2020
- Locanabio Announces $100 Million Series B Financing to Advance Portfolio of Novel RNA-Targeted Gene Therapies for Neurodegenerative, Neuromuscular and... - December 17th, 2020
- NeuBase Therapeutics Announces Positive Preclinical In Vivo Data for PATrOL-enabled Anti-gene for the Treatment of Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 -... - December 17th, 2020
- Genetic Analysis Services Market: Uptake of Next-generation Sequencing and Multi-gene Tests to Drive Market - BioSpace - December 17th, 2020
- FDA Clears Genetic Modification in Pigs for Biomedicine and Food - The Scientist - December 17th, 2020
- Key Genes Related to Severe COVID-19 Infection Identified - The Scientist - December 17th, 2020
- UNLV Researcher on the Curious Case of COVID-19 Reinfection - UNLV NewsCenter - December 17th, 2020
- Genomics and medicine it's complicated | Health | willistonherald.com - Williston Daily Herald - December 17th, 2020
- Emedgene collaborates with Illumina to scale the interpretation of genomic data for rare diseases - PRNewswire - December 17th, 2020
- Polymerase Chain Reaction Market | Increased Outbreak of Infectious Diseases to Accentuate Demand in the Market - BioSpace - December 17th, 2020
- LogicBio Therapeutics names Daphne Karydas and Jeff Goater to Board of Directors - BioSpace - December 17th, 2020
- rBIO Achieves Crucial Milestone on Mission to Lower the Cost of Insulin by 30% - BioSpace - December 17th, 2020
- Report: More than 1,300 Medicines and Vaccines in Development to Help Fight Cancer - PRNewswire - December 17th, 2020
- San Diego's Locanabio raises $100 million for treatments aimed at degenerative diseases - The San Diego Union-Tribune - December 17th, 2020
- Worldwide SNP Genotyping Industry to 2025 - Pharmacogenomics Led the End-user Segment of the SNP Genotyping Market - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Business... - December 17th, 2020
- Potential Weakness in SARS-CoV-2 Discovered Single Protein Needed for COVID-19 Virus to Reproduce and Spread - SciTechDaily - December 17th, 2020
- Landing of $75M expansion of Texas-based Taysha adds to Triangle's growing gene therapy hub - WRAL Tech Wire - December 17th, 2020
- Track the Vax: What Do We Need to Know About the New Vaccines? - Everyday Health - December 17th, 2020
- Medical history from the year you were born - Quad City Times - December 5th, 2020
- Sarepta Therapeutics to Share Clinical Update for SRP-5051, its Investigational PPMO for the Treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy - GlobeNewswire - December 5th, 2020
- Biochip Market | Increased Popularity of Personalized Medicine to Boost the Market Growth | Technavio - Business Wire - December 5th, 2020
- December: Baby birth weight research | News and features - University of Bristol - December 5th, 2020
- Global Next Generation Sequencing Market (2020 to 2026) - Growth, Trends, Competitive Landscape, and Forecasts - GlobeNewswire - December 5th, 2020
- NIH researchers link cases of ALS and FTD to a mutation associated with Huntington's disease - National Institute on Aging - December 5th, 2020
- Precision Medicine Market Poised to Grow at 11.5% By 20227 - GlobeNewswire - December 5th, 2020
- Fact check: mRNA vaccines kept at very cold temperatures so that they do not break apart; COVID-19 vaccines will not genetically modify humans -... - December 5th, 2020
- Stoke Therapeutics Announces Presentations Related to the Company's Work to Advance STK-001, the First Potential New Medicine to Target the Underlying... - December 5th, 2020
- King George III's illness debunked as symptom 'caused by medicine prescribed to him' - Express - December 5th, 2020
- Stoke Therapeutics to Present at the Needham Virtual Epilepsy & Pain Specialty CNS Therapeutics Conference - Business Wire - December 5th, 2020
- Following the science: the writers who have made sense of Covid - The Guardian - December 5th, 2020
- Gene experts claim they identified human genes that can protect against Covid-19 - CNBC - November 23rd, 2020
- Genome Medical Reaches 90 Million Covered Lives in US - PRNewswire - November 23rd, 2020
- Sarepta Therapeutics Named One of The Boston Globe's Top Places to Work 2020 - GlobeNewswire - November 23rd, 2020
- New Study Highlights the Importance of Genetic Testing for Pancreatic Cancer Patients - PRNewswire - November 23rd, 2020
- Baylor Genetics Launches Combination Test for COVID-19 and Influenza A and B; Multi-Panel Test Seeks to Address Dilemma of "Overlapping symptoms... - November 23rd, 2020
- CHOP Researchers Reverse Severe Lymphatic Disorder in Patient with Noonan Syndrome by Targeting Genetic Pathway - BioSpace - November 23rd, 2020
- Myriad Genetics Announces Global Expansion of Myriad myChoice Tumor Testing in Europe and China - GlobeNewswire - November 23rd, 2020
- Epigenetics and pulmonary diseases in the horizon of precision medicine: a review - DocWire News - November 23rd, 2020
- Four years after landing in US, graduating ISU senior is on his way to medical school - Iowa State University News Service - November 23rd, 2020
- Lethal brain infections in mice thwarted by decoy molecule - Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis - November 23rd, 2020
- Reducing barriers to mainstream gene therapy - BioPharma-Reporter.com - September 4th, 2020
- Mapping Genetic Diversity of Lung Tumors Over Time May Lead to More Effective Therapies - UCSF News Services - September 4th, 2020
- Multi-site study to evaluate the role of testing guidelines in ensuring access to genetic information for men with prostate cancer - PRNewswire - September 4th, 2020
- Global Prime Editing Market to Witness Heightened Growth During the Period 2020 2030 - The Daily Chronicle - September 4th, 2020
- Liquid biopsies to disrupt the oncology testing market - Medical Device Network - September 4th, 2020
- Global RNA-interference (RNAi) Market Growth, Trends and Forecasts to 2025: Focus on Key Players Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Arrowhead, Quark... - September 4th, 2020
- Yale researchers find a cause and possible treatment for Fragile X - Yale News - September 4th, 2020
- 'Coming into their own': FDA approval of liquid biopsy tests puts early, less invasive cancer detection in broader reach - USA TODAY - September 4th, 2020
- Fusion Genes Associated With More Aggressive Papillary Thyroid Cancer in Pediatric Patients - Targeted Oncology - September 4th, 2020
- Existing Class of Drugs May Improve Neurological Function in Patients with Rare, Aggressive Genetic Disorder - Newswise - September 4th, 2020
- Genomic analysis reveals insights on virulent, emerging foodborne pathogen - UB Now: News and views for UB faculty and staff - University at Buffalo... - September 4th, 2020