ORIG3N is an interesting and innovative induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) company that describes itself as “leading a transformation in the understanding and treatment of rare, genetically inherited disease.” I am fascinated by the company, because it is one of the only biotechnology companies worldwide to bring their products and services directly to the public.
Specifically, ORIG3N has created the world’s largest uniformly consented blood cell repository, LifeCapsule, and it is using these blood cells to produce patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). In addition to collecting donated blood samples for iPSC production, ORIG3N also offers an optional LifeCapsule membership, in which the public can pay $99/year to get permanent access to their own immortalized iPSCs.
You can learn more about the company by reading this fascinating interview with James Lovgren, Chief Business Officer of ORIG3N. It was my honor to meet with him at the recent World Stem Cell Summit in Atlanta, GA.
In major news released today, ORIG3N announced that it will be further expanding its programs following the close of a $12.5 million Series A financing from an investor syndicate co-led by Hatteras Venture Partners and Syno Capital.
With permission from Cyanta Therapeutics, the full press release is included below.
PRESS RELEASE: ORIG3N™ Closes $12.5 Million in Funding Lead by Hatteras Venture Partners and Syno Capital
BOSTON, Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — ORIG3N Inc., a biotechnology company developing breakthrough treatments for rare and genetically inherited diseases and a pioneer in regenerative medicine announces the close of a $12.5 million Series A financing from an investor syndicate co-led by Hatteras Venture Partners and Syno Capital. Also participating in this round is new investor, DEFTA Partners, and existing investors, Harris & Harris Group, Inc., LabCorp, MGC Venture Partners, KTB-KORUS Fund. The funding will be used to support the launch of LifeSystems™ cellular models created from ORIG3N’s LifeCapsule™ bio-repository, a living database of humanity, which launched earlier this year and has become the world’s largest bank of induced pluripotent stem cells.
“The continued support of our existing investors and the confidence of our new investors will enable us to accelerate the growth of ORIG3N. We are developing some innovative science and business models that enable researchers to develop safer and more effective drugs and lay down the foundations for regenerative medicine treatments,” said Robin Y. Smith, CEO, ORIG3N.
“Hatteras Venture Partners is impressed with the direction the ORIG3N team is going and the great strides they have made in 2015,” said Clay Thorp, General Partner, Hatteras Venture Partners. “The blending of a consumer biorepository, regenerative medicine infrastructure, and cellular models of rare genetic diseases make ORIG3N a once in a generation opportunity to transform human medicine.”
Since its founding in 2014, ORIG3N has been leading the transformation in the understanding and treatment of rare, genetically inherited diseases. With science based on Nobel Prize-winning regenerative medicine technology, ORIG3N’s approach to drug discovery with the LifeSystems offering will replace the trial-and-error guesswork of diagnosing and treating disease.
“We are giving millions of people the channel to advance the future of medicine by contributing to a better understanding of disease and to remove the trial and error approach to medical treatment,” said Robin Y. Smith, CEO and co-founder of ORIG3N.
“ORIG3N’s work is incredibly innovative and it opens up exciting new opportunities for both patients and researchers. I am proud to be part of the ORIG3N Board and am confident in the path ORIG3N is forging for the future of life science,” said Justin Xiang, PhD Chief Investment Officer & co-founder, Syno Capital.
About LifeCapsule by ORIG3N
LifeCapsule is a bio-repository to which anyone can contribute to the advancement of medicine and their own future health. From the collection of a small amount of blood, the cells are reprogramed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which can be used for disease modeling outside of the body for both critical medical research and individualized therapy. This new patient-powered model to medical research is consistent with the policy objectives reflected in President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, which is supporting the advancement of biomedical discoveries that will provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients. LifeCapsule will provide improved tailoring of individual treatment because clinicians will have insight into specific characteristics of a patient to make more informed and effective treatment decisions.
About Hatteras Venture Partners IV, LP
Hatteras Venture Partners is a venture capital firm that seeks to transform medicine through seeding and growing the next generation of innovative companies in human medicine. Today, the firm manages over $350 million in five venture capital funds. Since 2000, Hatteras has invested in over 50 companies, with a focus on biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, healthcare IT, and related opportunities in human health. While Hatteras has invested in companies throughout the nation, the firm is a leader in the research-driven regions of North Carolina and the Southeastern United States. For more information, visit:www.hatterasvp.com.
About Syno Capital, LLC
Syno Capital is a global cross border venture capital firm dedicated to life science and healthcare. Aside from being resourceful in the United States, it provides help to its portfolio companies in expanding into the Greater China region. Syno Capital has extensive experience in building partnerships in China and its network of strategic partners can accelerate the growth of companies both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit: www.synocapital.com.
About Harris & Harris Group, Inc.
Harris & Harris Group, Inc. helps build transformative companies from disruptive science. Harris & Harris Group is a publicly traded (NASDAQ: TINY) venture capital firm that has been making such investments for over 30 years. For more information, visit: www.hhvc.com/about/.
About KTB-KORUS Fund
Founded in 1981 as one of the first venture capital firms in Korea, KTB has consistently proven itself as a premier investment company. Throughout KTB’s over 30 years of history, more than 250 portfolio companies of KTB went IPO in Korea and overseas, accounting for over 10% of Korean IPOs. The venture capital entity in Korea and China are under the name KTB Network and the entity in the US is under KTB Ventures.
About MGC Venture Partners 2013, L.P.
MGC Venture Partners 2013, LP (the “Fund”) is a fund that seeks to invest in seed and early stage companies focused on two major sectors: Life Sciences and Technology. Within the Life Sciences sector, the Fund primarily focuses on investments in the diagnostics, medical device, and nutraceuticals and expedited drug development sub-sectors. Within the Technology sector, the Fund has a concentration in healthcare technology, business services and consumer technology companies. For more information, visit: www.mgcfund.com/bedrock-fund/.
About DEFTA Partners
DEFTA Partners is a global venture capital firm founded in 1985, which is headquartered in San Francisco and Tokyo. It invests in early stage, high potential companies that have the capacity to transform the IT and health technologies sectors. Over the past thirty years DEFTA has supported the growth of more than a hundred early stage companies thought the US, Japan, Israel, the UK and in emerging countries, with many successful exits.
About ORIG3N, Inc.
ORIG3N is a biotechnology company developing a breakthrough disease-modeling platform targeting rare genetically inherited diseases. By advancing screening projects using iPSC-derived differentiated cells and rapidly delivering the resulting data to inform therapeutic decisions, ORIG3N will replace trial and error guess work of treating disease and enable longer, healthier lives. The founders are serial entrepreneurs who’s previous venture, ArtusLabs, was acquired by PerkinElmer in 2011.
For more information, visit: www.orig3n.com. For more information about the LifeCapsule offering, visit www.capsule.life.
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