Oisín Biotechnologies funding tops $9.5 million, with additional funding set to support preclinical development of its platform and investigational therapy for kidney and other age-related diseases.
Seattle-based biotech Oisín Biotechnologies has announced it has completed an oversubscribed round raising $5 million in new seed funding which it will use to progress its preclinical pipeline. Early-stage investing firm Althea Group, LLC, led the round, which brings privately-held Oisín’s total funding to $9.5 million.
Longevity.Technology: Oisín is a preclinical-stage gene therapy company; its most advanced programme, an investigational senolytic therapy for chronic kidney disease (CKD) has performed well in preclinical studies, reducing senescent cell burden in murine models and extending lifespan by 20%. The proceeds from this latest round will be used by Oisín to advance its preclinical pipeline, with the aim of the CKD therapy entering the clinic towards the end of 2022.
“The support for Oisín’s novel approach to slowing or halting age-related diseases has been strong,” said Matthew Scholz, Oisín Biotechnologies’ CEO and Co-founder. “Chronic kidney disease, our initial therapeutic focus, has seen little in the way of therapeutic advances over the past several decades. We believe Oisín is well positioned to address this unmet medical need and will continue to explore other applications in tandem .”
Senescent cells can trigger age-related diseases and shorten lifespan. Oisín uses precise DNA-based interventions to clear senescent cells from the body, and its proprietary SENSOlytics® technology is a third-wave innovation that uses a novel proteo-lipid vehicle drug delivery. This vector efficiently delivers non-integrating DNA plasmids to senescent cells to trigger cell death without harming surrounding healthy cells, or causing harmful side effects. In preclinical studies in mice, Oisín’s investigational therapeutics have significantly reduced senescent cell burden, as well as extending lifespan by more than 20%.
These results were achieved even when the treatment was started in old age and, after a single treatment, senescent cell removal rates reached as high as 70%. Oisín’s platform is significantly safer and more cost effective than other delivery systems such as viral approaches, and their therapy is reliable and reproducible. This approach is not achievable with traditional pharmaceutical drugs, and if human trials are successful and the technology receives regulatory approval, this promising restorative therapy could potentially be available in years, rather than decades.
In an earlier interview, Co-founder Gary Hudson told Longevity.Technology that the Oisín platform is founded on a software program the company has written in DNA. “Is the cell senescent, or not?” explained Hudson. “If senescent, then kill. If not, then ignore. We have been able to write a computer program in DNA that is executed in cells based on if/then logic.”
“Oisín’s technology has the potential to upend traditional therapeutic approaches aimed at age-related diseases,” said Raymond Chan, PhD, general partner at Althea Group. “The company’s interventions have shown significant early promise and if clinically validated, could have broad applicability. We’re proud to support this talented group and look forward to its continued progress .”
Oisín expects the first readouts from its preclinical study in CKD, OB-001, later this year. The company will use the initial data to inform its next series of studies and, eventually, its first proposed clinical trial design. Although this funding will be used to accelerate Oisín’s CKD work, the company is continuing to advance other planned studies in its preclinical programme, as well as advancing additional pipeline indications and moving towards a regulatory filing to begin its first clinical trial.