Asalyxa Bio, a University of Michigan spinoff company that has developed a drug-delivery technology to treat a wide range of inflammatory diseases, has received a seed capital investment from Research Bridge Partners in Austin, Texas. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
Research Bridge Partners is a 501(c)(3) organization that bridges innovators at mid-continent research universities with the commercialization resources of Silicon Valley.
The investment will help Asalyxa Bio fund development of core technologies and intellectual property, while supporting IND-enabling studies (which evaluate potential toxicity risks) required to obtain the permission of regulatory authorities to begin human clinical testing.
With this investment, James Graham, managing director of investments at Research Bridge Partners joins the Asalyxa Bio board of directors. Dr. Lola Eniola-Adefeso, Asalyxa Bio’s chief scientific officer, has been named a Research Bridge Partners fellow.
Asalyxa Bio’s lead program, ASX-100, delivers an anti-inflammatory agent directly to overreactive neutrophils — a long-ignored white blood cell that may be implicated in the immune system overreaction known as a “cytokine storm.”
“Neutrophils are the most common, yet least glamorous white blood cells,” explains Dr. Eniola-Adefeso, the university diversity and social transformation professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. “Their lack of specialization makes them good ‘first responders’ in the body when something is wrong, but trouble comes when they don’t get the signal to stop responding so other cells can step in and repair the damage. ASX-100 has the potential to manage that response.”
The company’s first indication is in ARDS — a condition that affects 500,000 Americans annually, roughly half of whom die as a result. There are no approved drugs for ARDS, which is a leading cause of death from influenza and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
“Asalyxa’s technology has true life-saving potential,” says Graham, “and a clear mechanism of action that will help accelerate program development and commercialization.”
For more information, visit here.