Spotlight Therapeutics | March 22, 2022
Spotlight Therapeutics, Inc. (“Spotlight”), a biotechnology company applying new insights to develop cell-targeted in vivo CRISPR gene editing biologics, today announced a $36.5M Series B financing to fuel a drive toward the clinic.
The financing round was co-led by new investors GordonMD Global Investments and EPIQ Capital Group, with participation from Magnetic Ventures, as well as existing investors GV (formerly Google Ventures) and Emerson Collective and other investors. Craig Gordon, M.D., Founder, CEO and CIO of GordonMD Global Investments, joins the Company’s Board of Directors.
Spotlight's proprietary technology platform, TAGE (Targeted Active Gene Editors), is a new class of biologics; highly engineered, modular programmable CRISPR effectors designed to target and edit selected cell types in vivo. This approach circumvents the complexity of packaged viral, viral-like, and nanoparticle delivery systems, opens the door to expanded applications, and holds the promise of increasing patient access.
We are excited to help Spotlight advance its pioneering work, which shows promise for cell-targeted delivery of CRISPR effectors in vivo. Spotlight’s TAGE platform could enable significant expansion of CRISPR medicines to a wide range of diseases."
This Series B funding is a crucial milestone as we advance our lead first-in-class immuno-oncology (IO) program and progress our pipeline of programs in IO, ophthalmic diseases and hemoglobinopathies,It will enable us to execute our development plan, leveraging Spotlight’s unique cell-targeted in vivo delivery approach, as we aspire to unlock the full potential of gene editing and enable effective one-and-done medicines for patients.”
Mary Haak-Frendscho, Ph.D., President and CEO of Spotlight Therapeutics.
About Spotlight Therapeutics
Established in mid-2018, Spotlight Therapeutics is a privately held biotechnology company advancing a pipeline of cell-targeted in vivo CRISPR gene editing therapies. Spotlight's proprietary technology platform TAGE (Targeted Active Gene Editors) is a new class of biologics, CRISPR effectors engineered for direct delivery in vivo, to achieve cell-selective therapeutic genome editing. Spotlight's pipeline is advancing its modular programmable CRISPR effectors towards clinical studies in immuno-oncology, ophthalmic diseases and hemoglobinopathies. The company is headquartered in Hayward, California.
MemVerge | March 21, 2022
MemVerge™, the pioneers of Big Memory software, today announced that TGen, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, an affiliate of City of Hope, has selected MemVerge Memory Machine Big Memory virtualization software to accelerate time to discovery for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a disease which affects 100,000 people annually in the U.S. Using MemVerge technology, TGen is able to dramatically speed analytical processing by nearly 36% for single-cell RNA sequencing.
As a nonprofit medical research institute, TGen researchers process single-cell RNA sequences to characterize cell transcriptomic profiles. The process can take up to six and a half hours to analyze a matrix of 30,000 genes by 114,000 cells. With consistently growing datasets, this processing time was preventing a desired time to discovery. The data required for analysis was simply too large to retain in traditional memory, and scaling capacity with dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) was too costly.
TGen has instead deployed memory virtualization technology from MemVerge which virtualizes both DRAM and PMem (persistent memory) memory technologies, to increase the memory pool available for processing without requiring more high-cost DRAM. The solution further speeds TGen's genomics sequencing analysis with Memory Machine ZeroIO in-memory snapshots which capture multi-terabyte data sets at any point for rapid reloads at each stage of processing. The ZeroIO snapshot service is 1,000 times faster than the fastest storage snapshot to SSD and enables TGen to run processing workflows in parallel. This ensures that in the event of a system crash, in-memory snapshots are available to instantly re-start long running jobs without lengthy reloading.
By utilizing the snapshotting and cloning capabilities of Memory Machine, we were able to parallelize the processing workflow, As a result, we can now save nearly 36% of computational time while also taking advantage of the big memory nodes. This will save a lot of time in downstream analysis."
Glen Otero, Ph.D., Vice President of Scientific Computing at TGen.
MemVerge Memory Machine has quickly resulted in research value for TGen, We have removed performance barriers from their research process so that they are able to perform vital, life-saving, research faster than ever possible. Now TGen is expanding the use of Big Memory technology across other research use cases where results and discoveries can produce findings for a healthier tomorrow."
Jonathan Jiang, COO of MemVerge.
MemVerge Memory Machine makes 100% use of available memory capacity while providing new operational capabilities to memory-centric workloads. Memory Machine answers the need for a modern in-memory computing model to support emerging applications that require real-time analytics, true in-memory computing, and fault-tolerant memory persistence to speed massive processing workloads.
MemVerge is pioneering Big Memory Computing and Big Memory Cloud technology for the memory-centric and multi-cloud future. MemVerge® Memory Machine™ is the industry's first software to virtualize memory hardware for fine-grained provisioning of capacity, performance, availability, and mobility. On top of the transparent memory service, Memory Machine provides another industry first, ZeroIO™ in-memory snapshots which can encapsulate terabytes of application state within seconds and enable data management at the speed of memory. The breakthrough capabilities of Big Memory Computing and Big Memory Cloud Technology are opening the door to cloud agility and flexibility for thousands of Big Memory applications.
Mission Bio | March 15, 2022
Mission Bio, the pioneer in high-throughput single-cell DNA and multi-omics analysis, announced new findings by Daniel Snellings from the lab of Douglas Marchuk, PhD, at Duke University School of Medicine using single-cell DNA sequencing to identify genetic mechanisms leading to the development of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs). The study, published today in the journal Nature Cardiovascular Research, is the latest demonstration of how Mission Bio's Tapestri Platform is allowing researchers to probe new aspects of biology at a single-cell resolution not possible with bulk sequencing. Dr. Marchuk is Professor of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at Duke.
CCMs, a blood vessel abnormality that can lead to brain hemorrhages, have long been associated with developmental venous anomalies (DVAs), a typically benign but irregular vascular arrangement often found near sporadic CCMs – though researchers had yet to prove a link. In the paper, Snellings and colleagues sequenced DNA from three CCM patient samples to see if somatic mutations in MAP3K3 or PIK3CA – common in patients with CCMs – co-existed in the same cells. Single-cell DNA sequencing with Tapestri found co-occurring mutations in the cells of all three samples, a pattern that could not be determined by bulk sequencing. Further, the group found that the CCMs and the associated DVAs harbored identical mutations in PIK3CA, but that mutations in MAP3K3 were only found in the CCMs. Because of the pattern of PIK3CA and MAP3K3 co-occurrence in CCMs, the team could assess the temporal pattern of genetic mutations associated with disease progression. They determined that DVA is the first lesion to occur, and that CCM development happens only after acquisition of an activating MAP3K3 mutation in a cell of the existing DVA.sazsz
It was surprising to find that something as common as DVAs—which are present in up to 16% of people—could be caused by a cancer driver mutation. This explains why sporadic CCMs are often found in the vicinity of a DVA, and may explain why other diseases like pontine gliomas are also found near DVAs."
Tapestri is regularly deployed in cancer research to detect somatic mutations in clonal populations as a way of tracking tumor development, and the researchers adapted that methodology to evaluate the relationship between DVAs and CCMs. Since DVAs are not regularly biopsied, the researchers also confirmed the presence of circulating mRNAs in patients with both CCM and DVA related to this biological pathway, in plasma – a first step toward establishing a biomarker for CCM risk in patients with DVAs.
We expect this research will have a meaningful impact for patients at risk for developing spontaneous cerebral cavernous malformations, which can lead to strokes or even death, This paper is a powerful new demonstration that there are many disease areas where single-cell DNA sequencing is helping elucidate the mechanisms of disease development, and identifying potential targets for diagnostics or therapeutics."
Yan Zhang, PhD, CEO of Mission Bio.
About Mission Bio
Mission Bio is a life sciences company that accelerates discoveries and cures for a wide range of diseases by equipping researchers with the tools they need to better measure and predict our resistance and response to new therapies. Mission Bio's multi-omics approach improves time-to-market for new therapeutics, including innovative cell and gene therapies that provide new pathways to health. Founded in 2014, Mission Bio has secured investment from Novo Growth, Cota Capital, Agilent Technologies, Mayfield Fund, and others.
The company's Tapestri platform gives researchers around the globe the power to interrogate every molecule in a cell together, providing a comprehensive understanding of activity from a single sample. Tapestri is the only commercialized multi-omics platform capable of analyzing DNA and protein simultaneously from the same sample at single-cell resolution. The Tapestri Platform is being utilized by customers at leading research centers, pharmaceutical, and diagnostics companies worldwide to develop treatments and eventually cures for cancer.