Specific Biologics Inc. (“Specific”) today announced that it has closed its first institutional financing, led by Lumira Ventures and adMare BioInnovations which have recently established an innovative partnership to build Canadian life sciences companies. Gene editing holds the potential to cure a wide range of genetic diseases by altering DNA in the genome inside cells – but today’s gene editors have limitations. To better realize the significant opportunity of this therapeutic approach, and allow for its application to new therapeutic areas, Specific Biologics has developed the unique next-generation Dualase™ gene editing platform which can more accurately alter DNA sequences by cutting DNA in two spots as a single molecule. Specific has demonstrated the benefit of this two-site mechanism in proof-of-concept studies in disease-relevant models.
“Based on our early work with Dualase™, we believe it will have broad utility across a number of diseases with high unmet need,” said Dr. Brent Stead, CEO of Specific Biologics Inc. “This investment by Lumira and adMare, two recognized leaders in life sciences, will help accelerate the advancement of our promising platform, and a pipeline of differentiated Dualase™-based gene editing therapeutics in a diverse range of indications.”
“Current gene editing technologies are constrained by low on-target editing efficiency and high unintended off-target effects. Data suggest that Dualase™ has the potential to overcome these well-known challenges in relevant therapeutic indications,” noted Dr. Daniel Hetu, Managing Director at Lumira Ventures. “Built on the work of Dr. David Edgell at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Specific Biologics represents another example of how Canadian health science innovators are at the leading edge of treatment modalities,” added Nikhil Thatte, Principal at Lumira Ventures. “We are excited to work alongside adMare and the Specific team to grow the company and bring transformative therapies to patients.”
“The investment in Specific Biologics stems from a new partnership between adMare and Lumira Ventures,” commented Dr. Frédéric Lemaître Auger, Managing Partner, Investments with adMare. “adMare builds life sciences companies by partnering with and investing in Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs. The partnership with Lumira recognizes the complementary nature of our organizations’ resources, expertise, and roles in the ecosystem, and has resulted in our firms aligning to co-identify, support, and advance opportunities of mutual interest in a range of development stages. By working together in this way, adMare and Lumira are committed to expanding our contribution to the growth of the industry, and to making Canada a global life sciences leader. The investment in Specific Biologics is a great example of how we are effectively doing that – helping scale a highly-promising young company founded around world-leading Canadian research.”
About Specific Biologics Inc.
Specific Biologics Inc. (“Specific”) is a venture-backed early-stage biotechnology company on a mission to develop novel gene editing technologies to treat diseases through precision gene editing. Our two-site Dualase™ platform gene editors cut DNA in a way that optimally exploits the cell’s naturally occurring DNA repair pathways. This enables two gene editing outcomes, precise DNA deletions to disrupt genes or increased repair to correct genes. Specific also develops lipid nanoparticles to deliver the gene editor to target cells and is developing a pipeline of Dualase™-based therapeutics in areas of high unmet medical need. To learn more, visit www.specificbiologics.com.
About Lumira Ventures
Lumira Ventures is a North American healthcare venture capital firm with decades of experience of investing in and helping to build transformative biomedical companies. We are a multi-stage investor that partners with mission-driven entrepreneurs and like-minded investors to build innovative healthcare companies. These companies are harnessing rapidly evolving innovations in genomics, cell therapy, gene therapy, bioengineering, robotics and artificial intelligence to develop high impact, often transformative products for patients while generating exceptional returns for their investors and meaningful economic value to society. To date, Lumira’s companies have brought dozens of biomedical innovations to the market, impacting the lives of patients worldwide. Lumira Ventures manages its activities from offices in Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver and Boston. For more information, please visit www.lumiraventures.com
About adMare BioInnovations
With a wealth of scientific discovery, Canada is primed to be a global leader in life sciences. To realize this potential, adMare uses its scientific and commercial expertise, specialized R&D infrastructure, and investment capital to build investable companies, robust ecosystems and industry-ready talent – and re-invests its returns back into the Canadian industry to ensure it is sustained for the long-term. adMare’s 25+ portfolio companies have attracted more than $1.4billion of investment, have a combined value of over $3 billion, and employ more than 900 Canadians. Its Innovation Centres are home to 35+ life sciences companies, contract research organizations, and specialized commercialization support organizations; and the adMare Academy has trained 500+ alumni – 95% of whom are now working to build the Canadian life sciences industry. For more information, please visit www.admarebio.com
SOURCE Specific Biologics Inc.