HATFIELD, Pa. – Code Biotherapeutics, Inc., a next-generation gene therapy company pioneering the development of targeted non-viral gene therapies for rare and prevalent genetic diseases, launches today with $10 million in financing and headquarters in the Philadelphia region’s leading gene therapy epicenter. 4BIO Capital and UPMC Enterprises co-led the Seed financing with participation from CureDuchenne Ventures, JDRF T1D Fund, New Enterprise Associates, and Takeda Ventures, Inc.
“This is a very exciting day for all of us at Code Bio,” said Co-Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer Brian P. McVeigh. “We have selectively assembled a syndicate of top-tier investors, each bringing specialized areas of expertise and capabilities to the company that will enable us to rapidly deliver on the promise of our novel non-viral gene therapy approach. We are thrilled to partner with them as we continue to drive our discovery programs forward and strive to achieve important breakthroughs for patients with rare and prevalent genetic diseases.”
Code Bio has developed a proprietary synthetic DNA-based vector, called 3DNA®, that has demonstrated the potential to deliver genes of all sizes to multiple cell types as a re-dosable therapy, enabling utility across a broad range of genetic disorders. The company’s current focus is on developing a pipeline of novel gene therapies to treat rare genetic diseases, and is advancing discovery programs in rare diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a debilitating genetic disorder caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene, and type 1 diabetes (T1D), an autoimmune disease in which insulin producing cells in the pancreas are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. The company is also actively engaging in partnership discussions in strategic areas of interest.
Code Bio has appointed the following Seed Round investor representatives to its Board of Directors: Dima Kuzmin, Ph.D. FRSB, of 4BIO Capital; Rob Lin, Ph.D., CFA, of UPMC Enterprises; Ed Mathers of New Enterprise Associates (NEA); and Victor Stone, M.D., of Takeda Ventures, Inc. They join Code Bio’s existing Board members, including Mr. McVeigh, Chairman & CEO of Code Bio; Russ Fein, Managing Director of Corporate Fuel Partners; Kathy Rouan, Ph.D., former SVP of R&D at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals; and Joseph Truitt, CEO of lecure Inc. Additional Code Bio management team members include Bob Getts, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer; newly-appointed Chief Business Officer Lauren Kaskiel; and Lori Getts, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Vice President, Preclinical and Process Development.
“At 4BIO we have always been dedicated to delivering lasting, curative treatments for chronic diseases through the use of advanced therapies,” said Dr. Kuzmin. “With next-generation technological approaches, bold thinking, and a focus on meaningful patient outcomes, I believe this is something the team at Code Bio has the ability to achieve. We are delighted to have supported the company throughout its start-up and business planning process and look forward to working closely with the team as they progress Code Bio’s novel pipeline of gene therapies.”
“As part of a leading integrated health system whose mission is to deliver Life Changing Medicine, UPMC Enterprises is particularly excited to back a company like Code Bio whose breakthrough therapies could transform the lives of patients,” said Dr. Lin.
“At NEA, we’re interested in novel gene therapies in rare and prevalent genetic diseases,” said Mr. Mathers. “Code Bio fits squarely into this space and is driving forward a promising platform that we believe can be the basis for development of targeted non-viral gene therapies to address important unmet medical needs.”
Noted CureDuchenne Founder and CEO Debra Miller, “The rare disease community values all efforts from the biopharmaceutical community, and we particularly welcome technologies like Code Bio’s 3DNA platform, which aims to overcome current limitations in viral gene delivery. As a mom of a young man with Duchenne, I remain laser focused on how to improve and extend access to promising therapeutic approaches, and I know the same is true for all of the parents in the Duchenne and T1D communities. We are thrilled to invest in a promising startup like Code Bio that has the potential to provide transformative benefit to those suffering from Duchenne, T1D, and other rare diseases.”
About Code Biotherapeutics, Inc.:
Headquartered in Greater Philadelphia, Code Bio is a next-generation gene therapy company pioneering the development of targeted non-viral gene therapies to treat serious and life-threatening genetic diseases. Code Bio leverages its novel multivalent synthetic DNA delivery platform, 3DNA, which has been engineered to overcome many of the challenges inherent with viral-based gene therapies such as immunogenicity, size and delivery limitations, re-dosability, and manufacturing complexity. The Company is advancing an internal pipeline focused on select rare disease programs as well as establishing partnerships to take forward programs in both rare and prevalent diseases. For more information, visit www.codebiotx.com.
About 4BIO Capital:
4BIO Capital is an international venture capital firm focused solely on the advanced therapies sector. 4BIO’s objective is to invest in, support, and grow early stage companies developing treatments in areas of high unmet medical need, with the ultimate goal of ensuring access to these potentially curative therapies for all patients. Specifically, it looks for viable, high-quality opportunities in cell and gene therapy, RNA-based therapy, targeted therapies, and the microbiome. The 4BIO team comprises leading advanced therapy scientists and experienced life science investors who have collectively published over 250 scientific articles in prestigious academic journals including Nature, The Lancet, Cell, and the New England Journal of Medicine. 4BIO has both an unrivalled network within the advanced therapy sector and a unique understanding of the criteria that define a successful investment opportunity in this space. For more information, please visit www.4biocapital.com
About UPMC Enterprises:
UPMC Enterprises is the innovation, commercialization, and venture capital arm of UPMC, a $23 billion health care provider and insurer based in Pittsburgh. With an emphasis on translational science and digital solutions, UPMC Enterprises provides its portfolio companies and partners with capital, connections and resources to develop solutions to health care’s most complex problems. Working in close collaboration with innovators from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, as well as others worldwide, UPMC Enterprises strives to accelerate science from the bench to the bedside and has committed to investing $1 billion in novel drugs, diagnostics and devices by 2024.
Sam Brown Inc. Healthcare Communications