30 August 2019 – Esco Ventures is pleased to announce the launch of Carmine Therapeutics. Carmine Therapeutics plans to establish a site in Cambridge, Massachusetts and to expand in the United States at the end of 2019.
Carmine Therapeutics is developing novel types of gene therapies that utilize extracellular vesicles (EVs) produced in the laboratory from red blood cells (RBCs) and that solve many unmet medical needs.
The foundational work behind this revolutionary platform technology was published in 2018 in Nature Communications 9:2359. Red blood cell extracellular vesicles (RBCEVs) are homogeneous, 150-nanometer vesicles that are produced physiologically by RBCs as they age. Several features make RBCEVs an ideal delivery vehicle for gene therapy. First, they are homogenous and can be produced in huge amounts at low cost. Second, RBCs are routinely used for blood transfusion and their secreted vesicles are biocompatible and non-immunogenic. Third, RBCEVs can be frozen and thawed multiple times for long-term storage and can be administered repeatedly without adverse effects. Fourth, RBCEVs have a unique natural biodistribution and can deliver cargoes to several organs in addition to the liver, including bone marrow cells. Lastly, they can be used to target specific cells and tissues using covalently attached peptides or single chain antibodies.
With the REGENT™ Platform – a proprietary RBCEV isolation, engineering and manufacturing platform of Carmine Therapeutics, we are generating a pipeline of next-generation gene therapies in the areas of hematology, oncology, and immunology.
Using our proprietary technology, RBCEVs can be loaded efficiently with nucleic acids up to 10 kilobases in size and they can deliver their payload efficiently both to cultured cells and to tissues and tumors in vivo. The powerful combination of a robust vector and a unique payload enables us to overcome most of the limitations of existing gene therapies in the clinic. Carmine Therapeutics has exclusively in-licensed and is also developing a comprehensive portfolio of intellectual properties encompassing the key aspects of the REGENT™ Platform and REGENT™ product candidates.
Carmine Therapeutics’ scientific co-founders are world-renowned scientists and seasoned entrepreneurs. Professor Harvey Lodish is a Member of The Whitehead Institute (MIT) and has founded several biotech companies that include Genzyme, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and, recently, Rubius Therapeutics. Prof. Jiahai Shi is an Assistant Professor at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and is also the co-inventor of a technology for engineering red blood cells as carriers for therapeutic cargoes, which led to the founding of Rubius Therapeutics. Prof. Minh Le is an Assistant Professor at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and is an expert in extracellular vesicle biology and oncology. Her research on RBCEVs forms the foundation of Carmine Therapeutics.
Mr. XQ Lin, CEO, a serial life sciences entrepreneur and investor, leads the management team of Carmine Therapeutics. XQ has created hundreds of millions in shareholder value and has global operating and product development experience and multiple patents. XQ graduated from the Wharton School of Business.
Elan Ezickson has also joined Carmine’s board of directors and brings a wealth of biotech industry experience with his involvement in various biotech companies like Tvardi Therapeutics, Ziopharm Oncology Inc., Scholar Rock Inc., Aveo Pharmaceuticals and Biogen Inc.
“I’m excited about the many Carmine gene therapy technologies, especially the ability to direct these extracellular vesicles and the genes within them to cells and tissues that currently are very difficult to target.”remarked Prof. Harvey Lodish, co-founder of Carmine Therapeutics.
Mr. XQ Lin, CEO of Carmine Therapeutics said, “We are passionate about advancing Carmine’s broad platform technology to develop the next generation of off-the-shelf gene therapies to address unmet medical needs for patients in dire need.”
To date, Carmine has raised US$3.4M in seed funding, in an oversubscribed round led by Esco Ventures and joined by other investors.
For media inquiries, please contact:
XQ Lin, CEO
Carmine Therapeutics Pte Ltd