Biopharma startup Vivodyne pulls in $4m seed

Biopharma startup Vivodyne has raised $4 million in seed funding.

Biopharma startup Vivodyne has raised $4 million in seed funding. Kairos Ventures led the round.

PRESS RELEASE

Vivodyne is the latest startup from UPenn Bioengineering to raise $4 million in Seed Funding, led by Kairos Ventures

Funding will support the development of a platform technology that promises to accelerate the discovery of cures to human diseases

Vivodyne, a bio-pharma startup from the University of Pennsylvania Bioengineering, today announced it has raised $4 million in seed funding. Vivodyne is developing a new bio-pharma discovery pipeline that starts and ends in lab-grown human tissue.

This funding round is led by Kairos Ventures, a company that invests in scientific discoveries and commercializes them into viable businesses. The $4 million investment will support the development of platform technology that aims to speed up the discovery of cures to a variety of human diseases.

“Vivodyne is creating an incredible platform technology that allows thousands and thousands of individually lab-grown, living pieces of human organs to be cultivated at a time, with stunning realism and scientific consistency,” said Andrei Georgescu, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vivodyne. “By testing drugs and life-saving biologics directly on these realistic human tissues at an unprecedented scale and resolution, we can greatly improve the success rates of therapeutics entering clinical trials by being much more certain of their safety and effectiveness ahead of time.”

But scientists believe the technology can do much more than just accelerate the development of therapeutics. “To cure cancers, we first have to understand them. Vivodyne’s platform provides the unique opportunity to visualize cancers in real time as the complex tissues they are, from immune features to vascular biology. This will undoubtedly lead to new insights and opportunities for precision medicine,” said Dr. Ben Stanger, Hanna Wise Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Director of the Penn Pancreatic Cancer Research Center. He has worked for several years with Andrei Georgescu and Dr. Dan Huh – co-founder and Chief Science Officer of Vivodyne, and himself an Associate Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Vivodyne’s platform was originally developed at Penn in the BIOLines Laboratory, which Dr. Huh directs. “Several years ago, we developed tools to emulate human organs in living benchtop platforms, but these are handmade and really difficult to get right. They’re a bit different each time, and they’re made from materials that don’t interface well with the enormous scale and consistency that drug companies need,” said Dr. Huh. “With Vivodyne, we’ve finally bridged that gap by automating every aspect of cultivating, testing, and analyzing these tissues’ responses to drugs and environmental stimuli with superhuman speed and precision. When bright scientists are no longer consumed by finicking with pumps, tubes, and scalpels, it gives them more time to discover and invent the future of medicine.”

“Vivodyne’s groundbreaking approach to scaling experimentation on bioengineered human tissues – which promise to better predict human responses to drugs than animal testing – has tremendous potential to improve people’s lives,” said Alex Andrianopoulos, Chief R&D Officer at Kairos Ventures. “We see it as a true breakthrough in medicine, by revolutionizing drug development and producing successful pharmaceuticals earlier and more frequently. We are very excited to partner with Vivodyne’s fantastic team and help bring this transformative technology to market.”

ABOUT VIVODYNE
Vivodyne is changing how scientists study human biology & develop therapeutics. Their platform technology creates a new preclinical drug development pipeline – Pipeline V – that starts and ends in lab-grown human tissues. The company was founded at the University of Pennsylvania by Bioengineering PhD Andrei Georgescu and Associate Professor of Bioengineering Dan Huh. For more information, visit https://vivodyne.com/

ABOUT KAIROS VENTURES
Kairos Ventures is a venture capital firm based in Los Angeles, CA that works closely with sixteen of the world’s leading universities and research institutions to identify and support the commercialization of transformative technologies. Kairos invests in patented scientific advances in life sciences and engineering that have the potential to deliver substantial impact for our world and remarkable returns for our Investors. For more information, visit https://www.kairosventures.com/.