SOLVE FSHD, a venture-philanthropic organization catalyzing the pace of innovation to accelerate a cure for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), announced today an investment of US$10M million in Vita Therapeutics; a cell engineering company harnessing the power of genetics to develop novel cellular therapies to treat muscular dystrophies and solid tumours.
Chip Wilson, founder of lululemon athletica and SOLVE FSHD said, “Living with FSHD for over 30 years, my upper body muscles are quite wasted. We are hopeful that the Vita cell therapy approach will stimulate muscle regeneration and will help people like me to build up muscle faster than it breaks down.”
The investment is part of a $31M Series B financing round led by Cambrian Biopharma. In addition to Solve FSHD joining, other new investors included Riptide Ventures and Cedars Sinai, which participated alongside TEDCO and other existing investors. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Vita’s lead pre-clinical program VTA-100 for limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2A) to the clinic. It will also fund the development of Vita’s newest program, VTA-120, for the treatment of patients with FSHD and to further expand Vita’s discovery pipeline. Since inception, Vita has raised a total of $66 million.
“Currently there are no treatments available for FSHD, and there is an urgent need to develop disease-modifying treatments that not only regenerate muscle but also correct the genetic defect that otherwise leads to the muscle’s inability to repair itself,”
said Eva Chin, Executive Director for SOLVE FSHD.
“We are pleased to support Vita as they continue to expand their induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology towards FSHD while further progressing their treatment for LGMD.”
About SOLVE FSHD
SOLVE FSHD is funding innovative biotech and biopharma research and development activities that accelerate novel treatments for Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). It is fully funded and created by Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist Chip Wilson. The founder of yoga-inspired athletic apparel company lululemon athletica inc. has been living with FSHD for the last three decades of his life. He has committed $100 million of his own money to create SOLVE FSHD and kick-start funding into projects that fit the organization’s mission: accelerate research into new therapies and find a cure for the disorder by 2027. https://solvefshd.com/
About Vita Therapeutics
Vita Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing state-of-the-art cellular therapeutics for the treatment of debilitating neuromuscular diseases and cancers. Vita Therapeutics uses induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology to engineer specific cell types designed to replace those that are defective in patients. The Company is progressing its lead program VTA-100 for the treatment of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2A) with the goal of filing an Investigational New Drug Application with the US Food and Drug Administration in the next 18 months. Long term, the Company is developing its pipeline of cellular therapies following a dual development strategy beginning with autologous-derived cells before moving to a universal hypoimmunogenic cell line. Vita Therapeutics is currently working with numerous partners, including PanCella, Wyss Institute, and Johns Hopkins University, to advance their clinical programs.
Learn more about the company at www.Vitatx.com.