NEW YORK, May 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- RenBio, a privately-held, preclinical biotechnology company developing novel, best-in-class antiviral antibody therapeutics and a next-generation antibody delivery platform, today announced that it has completed a $24 million Series A financing, led by Taiwan-based Ruentex Group. The company has also signed a license agreement with Columbia University, giving RenBio the exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights to a novel bispecific antibody (RB-100) for COVID-19 that was developed in the lab of David D. Ho, M.D. of Columbia University and targets two distinct sites on the spike of SARS-CoV-2. In preclinical studies, RB-100 demonstrated robust antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 variants that have recently emerged from the U.K. (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.1.351), Brazil (P.1), California (B.1.427 and B.1.429), and New York City (B.1.526).
Under the license agreement, Columbia University received an equity stake in RenBio, which was co-founded by Dr. Ho and Dr. Yaoxing Huang. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as legal counsel to RenBio. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
With proceeds from the Series A financing, RenBio is expected to complete IND-enabling preclinical studies and initiate a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of RB-100 in 2021. In parallel, the company will continue the development of its proprietary, DNA-based MYO (Make Your Own) Technology™ antibody delivery platform, with the goal of advancing a lead candidate into the clinic within two years.
"Our ability to complete this significant Series A financing reflects investor confidence in the strength of our MYO Technology platform as well as our renowned and proven leadership team, skilled in virology, antibody engineering, and preclinical and clinical development, who have been instrumental in bringing us to this key inflection point," stated Neal N. Padte, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer and Chief Development Officer of RenBio. "With these funds, we are committed to rapidly progressing RB-100, developed in the lab of RenBio co-founder and globally recognized infectious disease expert, Dr. David D. Ho, to the clinic."
Rachel A. Liberatore, Ph.D., Director of Research and Development at RenBio, added, "Given its ability to target two distinct sites on the virus' spike protein, RB-100 presents a higher barrier to resistance as compared to single monoclonal antibody treatments. Additionally, and critically, the preclinical activity shown thus far by RB-100 against many variants that have recently emerged represents a major differentiator of this molecule and provides hope that it will be a potentially far superior therapeutic option for COVID-19 going forward. While we advance the development of RB-100, we also look forward to harnessing the power of our MYO Technology platform, which incorporates the use of antibody gene transfer, to modernize and transform the monoclonal antibody and protein therapeutic fields. We believe our unique MYO technology can contribute significantly to the prevention of emerging infectious diseases, as well as to the treatment of cancer, inflammatory disease, and other indications for which monoclonal antibodies and therapeutic proteins are relevant."
About MYO Technology™
The MYO Technology™ platform is built to overcome the challenges inherent in typical antibody therapeutic development, manufacturing and delivery, by providing patients with a DNA "bioblueprint" that empowers them to produce their own therapeutic antibodies. The technology utilizes muscle cells (myocytes) and converts them into in vivo bioreactors to effectively produce the desired therapeutic within the patient's own body, potentially leading to radically new, longer lasting therapies, negating the need for cold-chain storage and resulting in shorter manufacturing times.
RenBio is a privately-held, preclinical biotechnology company developing novel, best-in-class antiviral antibody therapeutics and a next-generation antibody delivery platform. The company's lead compound, RB-100, is a SARS-CoV-2 bispecific antibody in-licensed from Columbia University, that, in preclinical studies, has demonstrated robust antiviral activity against emerging and evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants. RenBio is also developing a revolutionary, next-generation nucleic acid-based antibody delivery platform -- MYO (Make Your Own) Technology™ -- designed to overcome the manufacturing and delivery challenges of standard protein therapies by providing patients (via a modified intramuscular injection) with a DNA "bioblueprint," enabling muscle cells (myocytes) to produce the desired therapeutic antibodies within the patient's own body, thereby acting as in vivo bioreactors. Funding, to date, has included non-dilutive financing from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and MedImmune (now AstraZeneca). RenBio was co-founded by world-renowned HIV expert, David D. Ho, M.D., founding scientific director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, and Yaoxing Huang, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medical Sciences at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. For more information, visit: https://www.renbio.com/.
Rx Communications Group