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Boston’s Manifold Bio Secures $40M to Tackle Translational Obstacles
Founded by George Church, the Harvard geneticist who developed the first direct genomic sequencing method, Manifold Bio announced the close of its $40 million Series A financing to advance its internal drug programs and expand its next-generation protein engineering platform.
The Boston-based startup is pursuing a pipeline of targeting-enhanced protein therapeutics, powered by a platform that parallels in vivo testing of protein therapeutic designs, both results of its aim to address key translational bottlenecks in drug translational and preclinical bottlenecks.
Triatomic Capital, Section 32, FPV Ventures, Horizons Ventures, and Tencent participated in this Series A round, existing investors Playground Global, Fifty Years, and GETTYLAB also participated.
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In Vivo Biologics Design for Effective Drug Testings
Manifold Bio developed a platform for parallelizing in vivo testing with a maximum of one hundred simultaneous tests in a single mouse, effectively making preclinical testing of proteins more efficient, a crucial step to advance therapeutics into the clinical stage.
The company’s M-Codes protein barcoding approach allows quantitative tracking of mixtures of new protein designs through different environments in a living mammalian system, basically protein multiplexing that’s custom-built for drug discovery. According to Manifold’s webpage, the technology can optimize drugs for their maximal therapeutics window, by designing drugs to target specific sites initially.
“Despite a growing understanding of surface targets of diseased cells and the promise of new complex antibody formats, drug programs continue to face significant clinical challenges, including major dose limiting toxicities caused by imprecise targeting,” said Gleb Kuznetsov, Manifold Bio’s co-founder and CEO.
Co-founder and CSO Pierce Ogden said that Manifold is using their platform in several internal programs, but did not disclose the number of therapeutics and the disease area these pipelines are focusing on. The CSO is confident that the team can “significantly change the clinical risk equation”.
The startup bagged $5.4 million in seed funding in 2020 and has since gained steady traction thanks to the backing of the influential George Church, who is also a founding member of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
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