LyGenesis raises $4m ahead of Phase 2a trials

New money for technology that uses lymph nodes as bioreactors to regrow functioning organs.

LyGenesis, a biotechnology company focused on organ regeneration, announced that it has completed a total of $4 million in private financing of convertible notes from Juvenescence, Ltd. and Longevity Vision Fund. This new funding comes after a $3m Series A from May 2018 according to Crunchbase.

Convertible debt is when a company borrows money from an investor or a group of investors and the intention of both the investors and the company is to convert the debt to equity at some later date. This might simply be a matter of timing – we covered Juvenescence’s deferred IPO recently: Jim Mellon, Chair and Co-Founder of Juvenescence, told Longevity.Technology that the biotech incubator will use the proceeds from its public launch to take around five therapies into phase 2 trials; this is also LyGenesis’ stated plan.

Greg Bailey, MD, Co-Founder and CEO of Juvenescence, and a member of LyGenesis’s Board of Directors said, ”We are thrilled to continue our financial support of LyGenesis as they transition into clinical development.”

LyGenesis’ technology uses lymph nodes as bioreactors to regrow functioning organs within a patient’s own body. This financing will enable LyGenesis’ lead program in liver regeneration to transition into clinical development, beginning with a Phase 2a clinical trial for patients with end stage liver disease in 2020.

“We have advanced our liver regeneration program through preclinical trials and this financing will help us to rapidly transition into a clinical-stage biotechnology company,” said Michael Hufford, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO of LyGenesis. “Our ability to use the lymph node as a bioreactor for organogenesis is also generating interest from partner companies looking for an enabling technology so that their genetically modified cell therapies are able to engraft, proliferate, vascularize, and produce a therapeutic effect in patients.”

Sergey Young, founder of Longevity Vision Fund, commented “The ability to regenerate functioning ectopic organs was science fiction just a few short years ago. The progress of LyGenesis’s technology is emblematic of the rapid advances we are witnessing as biotechnology transitions from bench research, to preclinical models, and now into the clinic.”

Image courtesy of LyGenesis, Inc.: One of LyGenesis’ radio-labelled hepatocytes or ‘mini-livers’