June 23, 2021 07:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time
BALTIMORE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Vita Therapeutics, a cell engineering company harnessing the power of genetics to develop cellular therapies that follow an autologous and universal hypoimmunogenic approach, today announced the completion of an oversubscribed $32 million Series A. The financing was led by Cambrian Biopharma with participation from Kiwoom Bio, SCM Life Sciences, and Early Light Ventures.
“At Vita Therapeutics our mission is to deliver long-term disease-modifying cell engineered treatments for patients living with muscular dystrophies and other high unmet medical needs,” said Douglas Falk, M.S., Chief Executive Officer of Vita Therapeutics. “We are pleased this high-caliber group of new and existing investors share our enthusiasm and belief in Vita’s ability to progress our innovative treatments to help these patients. This oversubscribed round of financing will enable the company to take the next steps toward achieving our mission.”
“Cell therapies have two grand challenges – getting enough cells and differentiating them into the right cell type to make a long-term impact on a patient’s disease,” said James Peyer, PhD., newly appointed board member of Vita and Chief Executive Officer of Cambrian Biopharma. “By mastering the transition from iPSC to muscle stem cell, Vita can make an unlimited amount of carefully defined muscle stem cells, which has never been possible before. I am so glad to count Vita as a Cambrian affiliate, and I have no doubt Vita will become a genre-defining cell therapy company.”
Vita’s lead therapy, VTA-100, is currently undergoing investigational new drug (IND)-enabling studies for the treatment of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) 2A/R1. It is designed to be an autologous treatment that combines gene correction and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology to help repair and replace muscle cells. Vita’s second therapeutic, VTA-200, is a genetically engineered iPSC derived hypoimmunogenic treatment designed to treat multiple types of muscular dystrophy.
The Series A financing will support the completion of all remaining IND-enabling studies for VTA-100 and its subsequent IND submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This funding will also support the manufacturing of cells needed for clinical evaluation as well as patient recruitment efforts for the first clinical trial. In addition, this financing will be used to further the development of VTA-200 and the development of VTA-300, an undisclosed cell type.
About Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy
Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) is a group of disorders that cause weakness and wasting of muscles closest to the body (proximal muscles), specifically the muscles of the shoulders, upper arms, pelvic area, and thighs. The severity, age of onset, and disease progression of LGMD vary among the more than 30 known sub-types of this condition and may be inconsistent even within the same sub-type. As the atrophy and muscle weakness progresses, individuals with LGMD begin to have trouble lifting objects, walking, and climbing stairs, often requiring the use of assistive mobility devices. There is currently no cure for LGMD, with treatments limited to supportive therapies such as corticosteroids.
About Vita Therapeutics
Vita Therapeutics, a Cambrian Biopharma affiliate, is a cell engineering company harnessing the power of genetics to develop cellular therapies that follow a dual manufacturing strategy, first beginning autologously before moving to a universal hypoimmunogenic cell line. Vita was originally founded out of the labs of Dr. Gabsang Lee and Dr. Kathryn Wagner at Johns Hopkins University and the Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2019 by Douglas Falk, M.S. and Peter Andersen, PhD. The company utilizes induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology to engineer specific cell types designed to replace those that are defective in patients. We are currently working to progress our lead therapeutic, VTA-100, for the treatment of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD), into clinical trials. For more information and important updates, please visit www.vitatx.com or follow us on Twitter @Vita_Tx and LinkedIn.