Genisphere snags $4M to move its 3DNA platform into the clinic

Representation of 3DNA platform--Courtesy of Genisphere

Pennsylvania startup Genisphere locked down a $4 million investment to expand its DNA-based drug delivery platform, looking to finish the preclinical process and license the technology to more pharma partners.

Genisphere's platform, called 3DNA, is a 3-D structure made from the building blocks of DNA that can be tagged with antibodies and deliver small molecules, biologics and nucleic acids, according to a release from the company.

The cash, which comes largely from the nonprofit Main Line Health's Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, will be used to continue preclinical projects and get the platform into the clinic.

"The results from each of our studies support the value of targeting and the versatility of the platform to cross biological barriers, like the blood brain barrier, to deliver therapeutic candidates," Genisphere Chief Scientific Officer Bob Getts said in a statement. "Our efficacy data continues to demonstrate that we can impact tumor growth and increase the life span in our treatment groups using a variety of therapeutic candidates, including small drugs and siRNAs."

The company partnered with MultiCell Technologies in 2013 to investigate a treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma. And that's one of more than 25 partnerships Genisphere has forged, a list that includes some Big Pharma players, the company has said.

Earlier this year, Genisphere boasted successful preclinical results for a cataract surgery complication called posterior capsular opacification, which clouds the eye.

"Since the antibody has broad utility and 3DNA nanocarriers can deliver a variety of drug cargoes, we can easily generate targeted drugs for many of these indications," Getts said at the time. "Genisphere's partnership model for development of nanotherapeutics has set the path forward for clinical testing and future commercialization of these and other candidates."

- here's the release