Cambridge, MA, October 13, 2022 -- Carmine Therapeutics (“Carmine”), an EVX founded biotech company and emerging leader in non-viral gene therapies, today announced the first Closing of its Series A financing. All existing investors including EVX Ventures, and Simcere Pharmaceuticals participated, and they were joined by new lead Investor Huagai Capital, and others, including the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which joined the round based on Carmine’s potential to provide an innovative approach to gene therapy in cystic fibrosis.
Carmine is developing next-generation, non-viral gene therapies for a broad spectrum of diseases based on our proprietary Red Cell Extracellular Vesicle Gene Therapy (“REGENT™”) technology platform. The REGENT platform offers the potential to deliver therapeutic payloads to a broad array of tissues including the CNS, the ability to carry DNA or RNA payloads ranging from 20bp to >30kb as well as the ability to carry multiple payloads simultaneously.
Unlike viral-based gene therapies, the REGENT platform utilizes inherently non-immunogenic and non-inflammatory red blood cell derived extracellular vesicles to deliver payloads and can therefore be potentially re-dosed. In addition, the platform offers the ability to control the intracellular immune response, and simple, inexpensive manufacturing. The company believes this combination of benefits offers the optimum platform for gene therapy in multiple therapeutic areas. The REGENT platform is based on the groundbreaking work of our scientific co-founders Minh Le, Ph.D., and Jiahai Shi, Ph.D. both of the National University of Singapore, and Harvey Lodish, Ph.D. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company plans to use the Series A funding to advance development of its first set of programs in retinal and pulmonary diseases toward the clinic.
“We are pleased to welcome Huagai Capital and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as new investors into Carmine and thank our existing shareholders for their continued support” said XQ Lin, Chairman and Founder. “Non-viral gene therapy is a promising new modality with the potential to address many unmet medical needs.”
Deng Liang, Partner of Huagai Medical Early Fund, said “We are thrilled to join Carmine family. As an early-stage investor in biotech industry, we value Carmine’s RBCEV platform as a novel and advantageous delivery system in gene therapies, especially considering its payload capacity, costs, and safety. Combined with Carmine’s patented payload engineering methods, we believe Carmine would bring patients with promising curative therapies. We are delighted to join the exciting journey, and join XQ, Don and the wonderful Carmine team led by Don.”
“We are delighted to bring a terrific group of new investors who share our vision of the next generation of gene therapies into Carmine”, said Don Haut, Ph.D. CEO of Carmine. “REGENT’s ability to deliver very large genetic medicines to a broad variety of tissues, without triggering an immune response or excessive inflammation has the potential to extend the promise of gene therapy to numerous human diseases that have been inaccessible to viral based approaches principally due to limitations on payload size, tissue tropism and the inability to re-dose.”
In conjunction with the financing, Deng Liang of Huagai Capital will be joining Elan Ezickson, Harvey Lodish, Ph.D., XQ Lin, and Don Haut, Ph.D. on Carmine’s Board of Directors.
Carmine Therapeutics was founded in 2019 by EVX Ventures, Professor Harvey Lodish (Whitehead, MIT) and Singaporean Professors Minh Le and Jiahai Shi. Professor Lodish, who was a founding member of several successful biotech companies that include Genzyme, Arris (now Axys) Pharmaceuticals, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and Rubius Therapeutics, is also Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Carmine. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA with a research presence in Singapore, Carmine is pioneering next generation gene therapy based on red blood cell extracellular vesicles.