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Recent Updates from FAST, CARB-X & CLSA Fellow Companies

Published 30 March 2021

Hear about recent updates and innovations from our FAST and CARB-X Companies and CLSA Fellows Members.

Shasqi (FAST Spring 2016), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision oncology therapeutics with its proprietary Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer (CAPACTM) platform, recently announcedthe publication of two preclinical studies highlighting the potential of the company’s click chemistry-based approach to the development of treatments for a range of solid cancers. Read more. In addition, the  members of its strategic advisory board, which bring a range of expertise to the company, including corporate strategy, clinical development, cellular biology, and cancer therapeutics. Read More.

Light Technologies (FAST Spring 2018), a Berkeley-based neurotech company pioneering the next generation of neurological health assessment tools using the first-ever 10-second retinal eye-tracking scan for neurological disease, recently announced the closing of their $2.5 million seed round. Their proprietary tracking technology, paired with advanced analytics, is poised to redefine the neurodegenerative space – providing new hope for millions of people worldwide. Read more.

Applied Molecular Transport Inc. (FAST Spring 2014), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, recently announced the first-in-human dosing in its Phase 1a clinical trial of oral AMT-126. The randomized, placebo-controlled, single ascending dose Phase 1a trial is evaluating the safety, tolerability, pharmacodynamics, and pharmacokinetics of AMT-126, a novel, gastrointestinal (G.I.)-selective oral fusion of human interleukin-22 (hIL-22), in up to 50 healthy volunteers. Read More.

Fauna Bio (FAST Spring 2019)  recently announced it had received a grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to investigate new ways to treat human diseases by studying the genetic makeup of other animals. The R41 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) leverages comparative genomics to identify new targets in the drug discovery process. Fauna Bio’s proprietary platform has already identified four novel genes that are key to heart protection and recovery from cardiac events, including heart attacks and strokes, using data exclusively from hibernators. Read More.

GigaGen Inc. (FAST Spring 2015), a U.S. biotechnology company specializing in the early discovery and development of recombinant biotherapeutic medicine, has closed its acquisition agreement with Grifols for USD 80 million.  Read More.

HepaTx Corporation (FAST Spring 2017) , Namocell Inc., and Takara Bio USA, Inc. (TBUSA) announced the successful completion of the second phase of their collaboration on single-cell analysis of hepatocyte-like cells (iHeps) differentiated from adipose tissue-derived stromal cells (ASCs) using Namocell’s Single Cell Dispensers and Takara Bio’s SMART-seq® kits to characterize HepaTx’s novel cell therapies for liver disease. Read More.

A UCSD team used two gene-editing tools, CRISPR and zinc fingers, to suppress a gene that encodes for a pain-related ion channel protein called NaV1.7 in neurons. When injected into the spines of mice, the treatments led to durable pain relief in three different models of chronic pain, according to results published in Science Translational Medicine. The researchers have spun off the gene therapy approach, dubbed LATER, into a startup called Navega Therapeutics (FAST Fall 2020) . They hope to advance the pain drug into human clinical trials in the next few years. Read More.

Molecular diagnostics firm Inflammatix (FAST Fall 2017)  recently announced the closing of a $102 million Series D financing to support the development and commercialization of its immune-response diagnostic tests. Read More.