Vita Therapeutics Closes $31M Series B Funding to Develop Cellular Therapies for Neuromuscular Diseases and Cancers
BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Vita Therapeutics, a cellular engineering company harnessing the power of genetics to develop novel cellular therapies to treat muscular dystrophies and cancers, today announced the completion of a $31 million Series B financing of dollars. The fundraising was led by Cambrian BioPharma and new investor Solve FSHD. New investors included Riptide Ventures and Cedars Sinai, which participated alongside TEDCO and other existing investors. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Vita’s lead preclinical program, VTA-100, for limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2A) to the clinic. It will also fund the development of Vita’s newest program, VTA-120 for the treatment of patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. (FSHD), and to further expand Vita’s discovery pipeline. Since its inception, Vita has raised a total of $66 million.
“The backing of this strategic group of quality investors further validates Vita’s cell therapy platform and our mission to bring transformative therapies that target the root cause of disease to patients with muscle disorders and cancers,” said Douglas Falk, MS, CEO of Vita Therapeutics. “This union’s confidence in our ability to move our programs forward is energizing and we are delighted to have them as partners. We are making notable progress in our experimental IND-enabling studies for VTA-100 and are on track to reach the clinic with this important therapeutic candidate within 18 months. Additionally, we are excited to further expand our pipeline to include VTA-120 for the treatment of patients with FSHD. I’m incredibly proud of our entire team and the constant momentum we continue to have.
Chip Wilson, founder of lululemon athletica and Solve FSHD, said:Living with FSHD for over 30 years, my upper body muscles are quite atrophied. We hope Vita’s cell therapy approach will stimulate muscle regeneration and help people like me build muscle faster than it breaks down.
“Currently, there is no treatment available for FSHD, and there is an urgent need to develop disease-modifying treatments that not only regenerate the muscle, but correct the genetic defect that otherwise leads to the muscle’s inability to repair itself. repair,” added Eva Chin, Executive Director of Resolve FSHD. “We are happy to support Vita as they continue to develop their induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) to FSHD and LGMD.
“Vita Therapeutics aligns with Cambrian’s mission to develop medicines that will redefine healthcare in the 21st century,” said James Peyer, PhD, President and CEO of Cambrian BioPharma. “The team, as well as the scientific platform, continue to impress us as they aim to find treatments that go beyond symptom management to have a positive impact on these diseases.
Vita Therapeutics’ current pipeline includes the lead program, VTA-100 for the treatment of LGMD2A, VTA-120 for the treatment of FSHD, and VTA-300 targeting multiple cancers.
VTA-100 is currently in experimental studies enabling IND and is designed to be an autologous treatment that combines genetic correction and induced iPSC technology to help repair and replace muscle cells in people with LGMD2A .
VTA-120 is designed to be an autologous treatment that combines genetic correction and iPSC technology to help repair and replace muscle cells for the treatment of FSHD.
VTA-300 is an immunotherapy currently in development that combines proprietary chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) technology and gene editing to target an undisclosed indication.
About Girdle Muscular Dystrophy
Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) is a group of disorders that cause weakness and atrophy of the muscles closest to the body (proximal muscles), particularly the muscles of the shoulders, arms, pelvic region, and thighs. The severity, age of onset, and disease progression of LGMD vary among the more than 30 known subtypes of this condition and can be inconsistent even within the same subtype. As muscle atrophy and weakness progresses, people with LGMD begin to have difficulty lifting objects, walking and climbing stairs, often requiring the use of assistive devices. mobility. There is currently no cure for LGMD, with treatments limited to supportive therapies such as corticosteroids.
About Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is an autosomal dominant muscular dystrophy, although thirty percent of new patients with FSHD have no family history of the disease and result from a congenital spontaneous genetic mutation. FSHD typically presents first with muscle weakness in the facial muscles and scapular region, with proximal weakness in the pectoral and abductor muscles limiting upper extremity function at the shoulder girdle. Onset is usually in adolescence and early adulthood, but can present in early childhood, which tends to be a more aggressive course. The disease progresses slowly and about 20% of patients are in wheelchairs by the age of 50. There are currently no treatments specifically indicated for use in FSHD, and no disease-modifying treatments are available.
About Vita Therapeutics
Vita Therapeutics is a biotechnology company that develops cutting-edge cell therapies for the treatment of debilitating neuromuscular diseases and cancers. Vita Therapeutics uses induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology to engineer specific cell types designed to replace defective ones in patients. Company is advancing its VTA-100 lead program for the treatment of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2A) with the goal of filing Investigational New Drug Applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within the next 18 months . In the long term, the Company is developing its cell therapy pipeline using a dual development strategy starting with autologous-derived cells before moving to a hypoimmunogenic universal cell line. Vita Therapeutics is currently working with many partners, including PanCella, Wyss Institute and Johns Hopkins University, to advance their clinical programs. To learn more about the company, visit www.Vitatx.com.
About Cambrian BioPharma
Cambrian BioPharma is building the medicines that will redefine healthcare in the 21st century – therapeutics to extend lifespan, the period of life spent in good health. As a distributed development company, Cambrian is advancing several scientific breakthroughs, each targeting a biological driver of aging. His approach is to develop interventions that first treat specific diseases and then deploy them as preventative drugs to improve overall quality of life during aging. For more information, please visit www.cambrianbio.com or follow us on Twitter @CambrianBio and LinkedIn.
About SOLVE FSHD
SOLVE FSHD is a philanthropic venture capital organization created to catalyze innovation and accelerate key research in the search for a cure for FSHD. Founded by renowned Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist Chip Wilson, founder of technical apparel company lululemon athletica inc. Chip has committed $100 million to kickstart funding into projects that support the organization’s mission to find a cure for FSHD by 2027. SOLVE FSHD’s goal is to find a solution that can stop the degeneration muscle, increase muscle regeneration and strength, and improve quality of life for people with FSHD. For more information, please visit: www.solvefshd.com.