4BIO Capital Portfolio Company Redpin Therapeutics to be Acquired by Kriya Therapeutics
16 November 2022
London & New York – 4BIO Capital (“4BIO” or “the Group”), an international venture capital firm unlocking the treatments of the future by investing in advanced therapies and other emerging technologies, today announces the acquisition of its portfolio company Redpin Therapeutics, Inc. (“Redpin”), a pioneering chemogenetics company developing uniquely controllable gene therapies to address intractable diseases of the nervous system, by Kriya Therapeutics, Inc. (“Kriya”), a fully integrated gene therapy company advancing a broad portfolio of innovative therapeutics. The acquisition serves as the foundation for Kriya’s neurology therapeutic area portfolio, with two lead gene therapy programs focused on epilepsy and trigeminal neuralgia (TN).
Redpin’s proprietary chemogenetics platform can selectively activate or silence disease-causing neurons, while leaving normal functioning cells unaffected. Currently available treatments for neurological disorders typically rely on systemically administered drugs or surgical interventions to address local neuron dysfunction. However, these approaches can have limited efficacy and off-target side effects. In contrast, chemogenetics leverages gene products that are selectively responsive to a chosen small molecule. Redpin’s technology utilizes gene therapy to express engineered ion channels that are responsive to modulation by the FDA-approved anti-smoking drug varenicline to either stimulate specific underactive neurons or inhibit overactive ones.
Redpin’s investors include 4BIO Capital, Arkin Bio Ventures, Takeda Ventures Inc, New York Ventures and Alexandria Venture Investments.
Dr. Elma Hawkins, Redpin Therapeutics’ President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, said: “Redpin has a built a breakthrough, validated chemogenetics approach that could have significant potential in the targeted treatment of neurological disorders. Kriya Therapeutics is the perfect company to take this leading ion channel-based platform forward and deliver an effective treatment option for patients. We look forward to working with the Kriya team to progress these unique targeted therapies to patients in need as rapidly as possible.”
Shankar Ramaswamy, M.D., Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kriya said: “Redpin’s innovative chemogenetics platform has the potential to transform the lives of patients suffering from intractable neurological conditions. We are looking forward to integrating Redpin’s platform and pipeline into Kriya’s gene therapy engine as we advance our mission to develop life-changing gene therapies that can address diseases affecting millions of patients around the world.”
Andrew Kozlov, Managing Partner at 4BIO Capital and Board Member at Redpin Therapeutics, commented: “Since leading Redpin Therapeutics’ Series A round in 2020, we have worked closely with the Redpin team to realize the potential of the company’s highly compelling chemogenetics approach. Kriya’s own platform consolidates the critical infrastructure and technology needed to systematically advance gene therapies, offering all the needed elements to propel this exciting technology forward to address neurological disorders for patients with considerable unmet need.”
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About 4BIO Capital
4BIO Capital (“4BIO”) is an international venture capital firm focused on investing in advanced therapies, including genomic medicines and other emerging technologies, to unlock the treatments of the future. 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, connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter @4biocapital and visit www.4biocapital.com.
Based in New York City, Redpin Therapeutics is a privately held, preclinical stage gene therapy company developing a proprietary chemogenetics platform for targeted cell therapies to address currently intractable diseases of the central nervous system. Using a powerful and innovative technology that inverts traditional drug development by using gene therapy to target an engineered receptor to any cell type responsible for disease and modulating its function with an already-approved drug. This has the potential to deliver effective treatments for a wide range of currently intractable neurological and psychiatric diseases and disorders. Redpin has a worldwide exclusive license from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the therapeutic use of this technology, and the company is working with urgency to apply it to advance important medicines for patients in desperate need of effective therapies. For further information please visit: www.redpinrx.com
Chemogenetics is a ground-breaking approach to selectively control cell function by installing an engineered receptor that renders any targeted cell population sensitive to modulation by an agonist designed to selectively target that receptor. Redpin is building an innovative ion channel-based chemogenetics platform that introduces a new paradigm for tunable, targeted cell therapies. Ion channels are proteins that are responsible for electrical activity in cells. We are leveraging ion channels as neuromodulation tools to either stimulate under-active neurons or inhibit over-active ones.
Using its synthetic biology platform, Redpin have designed proprietary chimeric ligand-gated ion channels as targeted cell therapies to selectively stimulate or inhibit dysfunctional neuronal circuits implicated in neurological diseases. The Company’s ion channel receptors are designed to only modulate neuron activity when exposed to very low doses of the orally delivered small molecule drug varenicline. Varencline (CHANTIX®) is approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as an anti-smoking agent. We believe varenicline is particularly attractive for chemogenetic applications in the central nervous system because it is well tolerated by patients at low doses and has excellent brain penetration.
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