Therapeutic cell pioneer Trailhead Biosystems raises Series A funding for development of specialized human cells
Financing will expand the company’s High Dimensional Design of Experiments platform (HD-DoE), support the generation of multiple specialized human cells with therapeutic properties and their pilot scale manufacturing
CLEVELAND, Ohio, November 10th, 2020. Trailhead Biosystems Inc. (www.trailbio.com) – a biotechnology company pioneering the application of machine-enabled science towards understanding and controlling biology – announced its $6.6 million Series A financing. The company has developed a proprietary platform to perform systems-level interrogation of complex biological problems, ranging from the generation of industrially-scalable manufacturing conditions for specialized human cells to combinatorial drug discovery in cancer and anti-viral therapies. Trailhead robotically conducts the largest dimensioned experiments in biology, using machine learning to discover critical process parameters and combinatorial inputs that explain biological responses. Trailhead’s groundbreaking methods depart radically from the limited explorative power of standard hypothesis-driven research.
“Biology is complex, but conventional science is not” says Jan Jensen, PhD, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Trailhead Biosystems. “We created Trailhead Biosystems to address key limitations in the scientific process, unlocking a deeper understanding of biology that will enable us to better control it”. The company spearheads the application of Quality-by-Design principles and has converted the traditional discovery process into one centered on systematic engineering to determine critical process parameters for the manufacture of human cells. “Experimental depth matters. Small sized experiments fail to capture the complexity of biology. But as we increase dimensionality, we break through. The relevant information we need is now available, and we obtain the ability not only to discover conditions to make novel cell types, but we also gain the process understanding needed for their manufacture.”
Trailhead aims to rapidly develop the capability of creating specialized human cell types at high purity for regenerative medicine and therapeutic purposes at an industrial scale, thereby addressing current industry needs for highly specialized cells used in drug discovery and modeling of human diseases. Through strategic partnerships, the cells provided by the company will be used to address multiple areas of clinical need. The company currently develops products that target type I diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and blood disorders, among others.
“Trailhead is a key enabling technology developer who works closely with the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI)” through the BioFabUSA program, Tom Bollenbach, Chief Technical Officer, says. ARMI is a U.S. Department of Defense-funded manufacturing innovation institute focused on enabling the scalable, consistent and cost-effective manufacturing of cell therapies and tissue engineered medical products. The program is led by its Executive Director, Dean Kamen, a prolific inventor and engineer. “Trailhead’s technology is in our bucket of ’cross cutters’. Their technology touches many of our product development needs. They were part of our initial creation, and they are now engaged with other partners to demonstrate the potential of their technology.”
Magnus Persson, M.D., PhD, a seasoned biotech entrepreneur and Chairman of the Board of Trailhead Biosystems reflects on the path ahead: “I am extremely proud to have helped put Trailhead Biosystems on a path to enable Jan’s extraordinary out-of the-box science to discover therapeutics that could potentially alleviate conditions that lack a cure today. This Series A financing round is a great vote of confidence in our cutting-edge technology and will allow the company to progress its programs to benefit patients. We are excited to realize our future objective of becoming a key provider of therapeutic human cells to the regenerative medicine industry.”
Critical support in closing the Series A financing was provided by the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Clinic at Yale Law School. “The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Clinic at Yale Law School was founded as a teaching clinic to work with highly innovative ventures in need of sophisticated legal and transactional advice. We were delighted to take on Trailhead Biosystems as a client and to support the company through this financing,” said Sven Riethmueller, Clinical Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School and the inaugural Director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Clinic.
About Trailhead Biosystems
Trailhead Biosystems is pioneering the development of cell-based therapeutics using machine learning and bioinformatics. Trailhead’s High Dimensional Design of Experiments (HD-DoE) platform merges developmental biology and cell therapeutics with advanced robotics, computerized experimental design, and analysis to perform process-specific parameter optimization in the development of cell therapies.
Contact: Div Trivedi, COO
Trailhead Biosystems Inc.