SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Myosana Therapeutics, Inc., pioneer of a muscle-specific non-viral gene therapy platform for neuromuscular and cardiac diseases, today announced the completion of a seed funding round totaling over $5 million led by investor John Ballantyne, Ph.D. The capital will go toward developing Myosana’s platform with the goal of identifying the first development candidate for Duchenne muscular dystrophy by 2025.
“Built on decades of expertise in neuromuscular diseases, Myosana’s muscle-specific non-viral gene therapy platform is poised to change the way patients are treated for neuromuscular and cardiac diseases,” said Ballantyne, Cofounder and former longtime CSO of Biologics CDMO-Aldevron, and a Founder of therapeutic delivery system developer Agathos. “Myosana’s progress building on the platform’s promising in vivo data is an essential next step. I’m excited to partner with the company as it pushes ahead toward a therapy that will reach patients and improve their lives.”
New investments from the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) rounded out the seed round, building on capital from original Myosana investor CureDuchenne Ventures and early investor PPMD a year later.
Completion of this major funding round comes just as Myosana has appointed its new CEO, Dr. Matthew Lumley. A board member since 2021, Lumley is a physician scientist who has spent nearly two decades in academic medicine and drug development, cultivating expertise in translational medicine and early clinical development in complex pediatric diseases. Lumley is also the father of a son with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In his role on Myosana’s Board of Directors, Lumley has been intimately involved in raising seed funding and advancing the platform.
“Dr. Ballantyne’s expertise in the nucleic acid production and delivery spaces builds credibility in our approach. His investment, alongside our nonprofit partners, will go directly to platform optimization and the identification of a development candidate for Duchenne muscular dystrophy in the next 18-24 months,” said Lumley. “As proof of principle for the platform, success in treating Duchenne would open up opportunities for Myosana to target a large range of neuromuscular and cardiac diseases.”
Alongside his role as CEO of Myosana, Lumley is a Venture Partner at Medicxi, a life sciences-focused venture capital firm where he is involved in the formation and financing of biotechnology companies across the full drug development continuum. His recent roles include Senior Director of Rare Disease Clinical Development at Moderna and Medical Director of Rare Diseases at Pfizer.
About Myosana Therapeutics
Myosana Therapeutics, Inc., has pioneered a muscle-specific non-viral gene therapy platform for neuromuscular and cardiac diseases. Based on this platform, the company is developing new gene therapies that will potentially transform progressive neuromuscular and cardiac diseases, increasing longevity and improving quality of life. Myosana’s first clinical candidate from the platform will be delivery of full-length dystrophin as a therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Myosana’s esteemed leadership team includes cofounders Stan Froehner, Ph.D., and Nick Whitehead, Ph.D., both internationally known experts in neuromuscular disease from the University of Washington, whose decades-long careers are marked by significant milestones. Dr. Froehner discovered the syntrophin proteins in muscle’s dystrophin complex and developed several pre-clinical treatments for muscular dystrophy. Dr. Whitehead has uncovered mechanisms of muscle weakness in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and developed Myosana’s innovative non-viral platform. The platform overcomes the significant limitations of viral vector-delivered gene therapy for muscle disease by providing targeted muscle delivery, large gene capacity, repeat dosing, and immune neutrality.
To learn more and follow Myosana’s progress toward its first clinical development candidate, visit us at www.myosanatherapeutics.com.