Funding will support the development of a platform technology that promises to accelerate the discovery of cures to human diseases.
Vivodyne, a startup developing a new bio-pharma discovery pipeline that starts and ends in lab-grown human tissues, is pleased to announce that it has raised $4 million in seed funding from Kairos Ventures.
“Vivodyne’s groundbreaking approach to scaling experimentation on bioengineered human tissues – which promise to better predict human responses to drugs than animal testing – has tremendous potential to improve people’s lives.” – Alex Andrianopoulos, Chief R&D Officer at Kairos Ventures
“One of the most difficult challenges in discovering world-changing cures to human diseases is that we have no great way of knowing whether the drugs will be safe and effective before they get to clinical trials in people. Even after testing on animals and on human cells in petri dishes, over 90% of the drugs that enter clinical trials fail. These unexpected failures cost biopharma hundreds of billions of dollars each year, which must be subsidized by the few successful drugs that succeed – and by the people that take them,” said Andrei Georgescu, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer. “Vivodyne is creating an incredible platform technology that allows thousands and thousands of individually lab-grown, living pieces of human organs to be cultivated at a time, with stunning realism and scientific consistency. By testing drugs and life-saving biologics directly on these realistic human tissues at an unprecedented scale and resolution, we can greatly improve the success rates of therapeutics entering clinical trials by being much more certain of their safety and effectiveness ahead of time.”
But scientists believe the technology can do much more than just accelerate the development of therapeutics. “To cure cancers, we first have to understand them. Vivodyne’s platform provides the unique opportunity to visualize cancers in real time as the complex tissues they are, from immune features to vascular biology. This will undoubtedly lead to new insights and opportunities for precision medicine,” said Dr. Ben Stanger, Hanna Wise Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Penn Pancreatic Cancer Research Center, who has worked for several years with Georgescu and Dr. Dan Huh – co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Vivodyne, and himself an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania.
Vivodyne’s platform was originally developed at Penn in the BIOLines Laboratory, which is directed by Dr. Huh. “Several years ago, we developed tools to emulate human organs in living benchtop platforms, but these are handmade and really difficult to get right. They’re a bit different each time, and they’re made from materials that don’t interface well with the enormous scale and consistency that drug companies need,” he said. “With Vivodyne, we’ve finally bridged that gap by automating every aspect of cultivating, testing, and analyzing these tissues’ responses to drugs and environmental stimuli with superhuman speed and precision. When bright scientists are no longer consumed by finicking with pumps, tubes, and scalpels, it gives them more time to discover and invent the future of medicine.”
“Vivodyne’s groundbreaking approach to scaling experimentation on bioengineered human tissues – which promise to better predict human responses to drugs than animal testing – has tremendous potential to improve people’s lives,” said Alex Andrianopoulos, Chief R&D Officer at Kairos Ventures, who will be joining Vivodyne’s Board as part of this transaction. “We see it as a true breakthrough in medicine, by revolutionizing drug development and producing successful pharmaceuticals earlier and more frequently. We are very excited to partner with Vivodyne’s fantastic team and help bring this transformative technology to market.”
ABOUT VIVODYNE. Vivodyne is changing how scientists study human biology & develop therapeutics. Their platform technology creates a new preclinical drug development pipeline – Pipeline V – that starts and ends in lab-grown human tissues. The company was founded at the University of Pennsylvania by Bioengineering PhD Andrei Georgescu and Associate Professor of Bioengineering Dan Huh. For more information visit www.vivodyne.com.