MycoWorks | October 19, 2022
Biotechnology company MycoWorks announced today its newest investor GM Ventures, the investment arm of General Motors Co. and their long-term agreement to co-develop Fine Mycelium™ materials for potential use in a range of applications within automotive design. MycoWorks' collaboration with GM marks the exploration of its entry into one of the largest end-use markets for leather and demonstrates the significant opportunity to create more sustainable materials for the automotive space.
MycoWorks' breakthrough Fine Mycelium technology engineers mycelium, the infinitely renewable root structure of mushrooms, to craft a range of natural, customizable leather alternatives that match the performance of the highest quality animal leather with lower environmental impact. The company's platform has enabled a new class of premium, non-animal materials which could have the opportunity to support GM's continued progress toward its vision of a world with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.
Animal-free and chrome-free, Fine Mycelium also has superior strength at low thicknesses, offering a compelling pathway to efficiency and weight reduction in car interiors while still meeting the most stringent performance, aesthetic, and environmental requirements of the automotive space.
"Working with General Motors to introduce Fine Mycelium to the automotive industry is an enormous step forward in the global new materials revolution. MycoWorks's collaboration with GM is a first for us outside of the fashion industry, demonstrating the enormous potential and applications for Fine Mycelium."
Matt Scullin, CEO of MycoWorks
"Our strategic investment in MycoWorks aims to advance the development of sustainable automotive materials," said Wade Sheffer, managing director of GM Ventures. "This collaboration will help facilitate R&D efforts and build more sustainable alternatives for our designers."
In August 2022, following an oversubscribed $125M Series C funding round, MycoWorks broke ground on its first full-scale production facility, which will enable initial mass-production volumes of several million square feet of Fine Mycelium materials per year, dramatically increase production and partnership capacity, and service Fine Mycelium to a wider range of industries and companies.
In 2013, co-founders Philip Ross and Sophia Wang formed MycoWorks, a San Francisco-based biomaterials company dedicated to bringing new mycelium materials to the world. MycoWorks' patented Fine Mycelium technology, an advanced manufacturing platform and breakthrough in materials science, engineers mycelium during growth to form proprietary, interlocking cellular structures for unparalleled strength and durability.
About General Motors
General Motors is a global company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. At the heart of this strategy is the Ultium battery platform, which powers everything from mass-market to high-performance vehicles. General Motors, its subsidiaries and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Baojun and Wuling brands.
Ordaōs and NonExomics | September 29, 2022
Ordaōs, a biotechnology company designing novel miniPROTM mini-proteins to help drug hunters deliver life-saving treatments, and NonExomics, a company specializing in the identification of novel targets from non-conventional protein-coding regions, announced a proof-of-concept research collaboration. As part of this endeavor, Ordaōs will use its proprietary design engine to generate and rank novel miniPRO™ candidates that meet specific target product profiles, beginning with three targets. NonExomics will conduct pre-clinical certification of these identified MinPRO™ proteins to demonstrate their promising commercial value.
"This partnership allows us to spotlight the power of our Design Engine to create customized miniPRO™ proteins that are more configurable, penetrable and stable, and easier to manufacture. Our collaboration with NonExomics also allows us the mutual opportunity to underscore the potential of our specialties utilizing machine-driven technology."
David Longo, CEO of Ordaōs
NonExomics identifies whether novel proteins can function as drug targets for therapeutic purposes or can be used for diagnostic processes. The company has developed a technology that effectively combines artificial intelligence, proteomics, transcriptomics, and genomics to identify novel targets for quicker diagnosis and treatment of diseases that are currently considered to be incurable or difficult to manage. NonExomics plans to develop new therapies and diagnostics based on its proprietary nonexomic targets.
"We at NonExomics are thrilled to be embarking on this exciting collaboration between our companies to fuel our shared goal of pursuing and developing new therapies for poorly treated or currently deemed incurable diseases," said Sudhakaran Prabakaran, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of NonExomics.
To select miniPRO™ candidates, Ordaōs will use its multitask meta-learning Ordaōs Design Engine to generate, appraise, and rank hundreds of thousands of proteins on their structures and drug-like properties for novel miniPRO™ candidates that meet the requirements of the desired specifications of NonExomics' product profile. NonExomics will then conduct a series of pre-clinical demonstrations of the selected Ordaōs miniPRO™ designs to prove they meet the specified product profiles.
More About The Ordaōs Design Engine
Ordaōs uses The Ordaōs Design Engine, to deliver true protein property design - leveraging continuous learning loops and proprietary data sets to translate human-targeted product criteria into machine-designed mini-proteins. Starting with amino acids, the Design Engine generates, appraises, and ranks billions of protein sequences and hundreds of thousands of protein structures and properties to create customized miniPRO™ proteins. These proteins are then rapidly evaluated in vitro to provide intelligent feedback on multiple design objectives including protein structure, binding specificity and affinity, solubility, stability, immunogenicity, and developability. This iterative process delivers optimized mini-proteins to meet the client's specific molecular target product profile (mTPP). They are also less likely to cause adverse side effects and are easier and less expensive to test, develop, and manufacture than traditional proteins. Using this approach, the Ordaōs Design Engine creates more ideal, unseen protein leads than others and can accelerate drug candidate development, increasing the probability of more therapeutically effective candidates. All of this provides clients with a high level of confidence in their investigational new drug (IND) applications.
Ordaōs is a human-enabled, machine-driven drug design company that helps birth novel therapies to reduce patient suffering, improve health, and extend life. Our flagship solution, miniPRO™ mini-proteins, enable drug hunters to deliver safer and more effective treatments in a fraction of the time of traditional discovery methods.
NonExomics science and platform developed over eight years of rigorous academic and industry research, mines novel disease-associated proteins using the dark genome. NonExomics has opened up a new area of science with unlimited possibilities to cure diseases.
CELL AND GENE THERAPY
Casma Therapeutics, Inc. | November 21, 2022
Casma Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company engaging the autophagy system to provide innovative new medicines, announced the closing of a Series C financing round of $46.0 million. New investors participating in the round include Amgen Ventures, LLC, Astellas Venture Management, Eisai Co., Ltd., Euclidean Capital, Mirae Asset, and Ono Venture Investment. Current investors Eventide Asset Management, LLC, Schroders Capital, The Column Group, Third Rock Ventures, and other funds also participated in the financing. Dr. Hiromichi Kimura, Investment Director of Astellas Ventures, has joined the board of directors. Dr. Tomotaka Okino of Ono Venture Investment and Amgen Ventures have joined as board observers.
Casma will use proceeds to advance its lead program for MYD88 mutant lymphoma through preclinical and into IND enabling studies.
“The closing of this financing has strengthened our resources to continue advancing our drug pipeline focused on autophagy-based degradation. We are thrilled to welcome several top-tier investors who recognize the potential of our biological platforms and therapeutic assets targeting well-known high-value and traditionally undruggable targets.”
Keith Dionne, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Casma Therapeutics, Inc
"Casma’s autophagy-based degradation platform, PHLYT™, is unique and impressive,” commented Dr. Kimura. “Along with a rich pipeline of autophagy degraders, the company has also established a highly qualified team with extensive scientific experience in drug development. We expect that this round of funding will accelerate development of Casma’s pipeline assets, especially its degrader for MYD88 mutant tumors.”
About Casma Therapeutics, Inc.
Casma Therapeutics, Inc. is developing novel cellular degradation approaches based on the autophagy pathway to open new target areas for drug discovery and development that will profoundly impact the lives of patients. Autophagy is a conserved cellular process that contributes to overall cellular homeostasis. The autophagy machinery targets large and complex disease targets such as organelles, protein aggregates and large signaling complexes and before directing them to the lysosome for elimination. By selectively degrading disease targets by autophagy, Casma expects to arrest or reverse the progression of disease in multiple oncology, inflammation, neurodegeneration, and metabolic disorders.