Lotus Tissue Repair, Inc. Secures $26 Million Series A Financing to Develop First-in-Class Protein Replacement Therapy for Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa
Company Founded by Proven Entrepreneurs, Leading Dermatology Experts and Third Rock Ventures
June 30, 2011 07:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Lotus Tissue Repair, Inc. today announced the closing of a $26 million Series A financing led by Third Rock Ventures. Proceeds of the financing will be used to advance the company's proprietary recombinant collagen type VII (rC7) technology as the first and only protein replacement therapy in development for the treatment of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB), an orphan disease that causes devastating skin blisters, morbidity and early mortality. There are currently no approved treatments for DEB, which results from mutations in the gene encoding collagen type VII. Future applications of the company's technology include treatments for dermatologic conditions in which rC7 may play an important role in accelerating chronic wound healing, such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis ulcers and similar conditions.
"Third Rock Ventures is dedicated to launching exceptional life sciences companies developing innovative therapies that can make a difference in patients lives"
."The Lotus Tissue Repair approach directly addresses the primary driver of the disease - deficiency or dysfunction in collagen type VII - and could mark a paradigm shift in long-term management of the disease," said Mark de Souza, Ph.D., founding chief executive officer of Lotus. "More broadly, our rC7 technology shows promise across a range of dermatologic conditions including diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis ulcers and similar conditions where collagen type VII could help accelerate chronic wound healing. We look forward to advancing our lead program and working closely with our scientific co-founders and their research teams."
Dr. de Souza, James Fordyce and Philip Reilly, M.D., J.D co-founded the company along with the inventors of the company's proprietary rC7 technology, Mei Chen, Ph.D. and David Woodley, M.D. Drs. Chen and Woodley are professors of dermatology at the University of Southern California and the world's leading experts in rC7 as a protein replacement therapy.
Lotus Tissue Repair also announced today an exclusive license with the University of Southern California (USC) for the patent portfolio and technology surrounding the research of Drs. Chen and Woodley. This license includes their groundbreaking work in DEB, which has been described in the peer-reviewed scientific publications Nature Medicine and Molecular Therapy, as well as rC7 as a potential therapeutic for chronic wound healing and bone repair indications. Preclinical studies to-date have demonstrated that the rC7 as a protein replacement therapy is potent, long-lasting and specifically homes to wounded skin in multiple preclinical models.
Lotus Tissue Repair's board of directors includes Dr. de Souza, Mr. Fordyce, founding chairman and chief financial officer of the company, Mr. Neil Exter, partner at Third Rock Ventures and Dr. Reilly, interim chief medical officer of the company and venture partner at Third Rock Ventures. Joining Drs. Chen and Woodley as scientific advisors to the company is Barbara A. Gilchrest, M.D., immediate past chair of the Department of Dermatology at the Boston University School of Medicine.
"Third Rock Ventures is dedicated to launching exceptional life sciences companies developing innovative therapies that can make a difference in patients lives," said Dr. Reilly. "Lotus Tissue Repair's innovative rC7 technology is disruptive and directly targets the driver of DEB, a rare genetic disease. We are excited to bring together this world-class group of researchers and entrepreneurs to advance what could be a transformative treatment."
About Lotus Tissue Repair, Inc.
Lotus Tissue Repair, Inc. is developing its proprietary recombinant collagen type VII (rC7) technology as a treatment for dermatologic conditions in which rC7 may play an important role in accelerating chronic wound healing, such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous stasis ulcers and similar conditions. The company's lead program is the first and only protein replacement therapy for the treatment of dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (DEB), a devastating orphan disease with no currently approved treatment options other than palliative care. Lotus Tissue Repair is a private company launched in 2011 by a proven team of biotechnology entrepreneurs, the world's leading experts in rC7 therapy for chronic skin wounds and Third Rock Ventures. For more information, please visit www.lotustissuerepair.com.
About Third Rock Ventures
Third Rock Ventures is a venture capital firm founded in 2007 with the mission to launch transformative life sciences companies. With more than $800 million and two funds under management, the firm is focused on working with passionate entrepreneurs to build exceptional companies working in areas of disruptive science that will make a difference in the lives of patients. The firm has assembled a team with deep expertise and a proven track record of building respected and successful life sciences companies. With decades of complementary, cross-functional operational and leadership experience, the Third Rock team actively engages with its portfolio companies to provide hands-on strategy and experience to successfully launch companies with the best vision, science, operations, people and culture. With offices in Boston, MA and San Francisco, CA, Third Rock is well positioned geographically to closely collaborate with its portfolio companies to achieve their goals. To learn more about Third Rock and its portfolio companies, please visit www.thirdrockventures.com.