22-Sep-2022 - Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin (MDC) Berlin-Buch

Regenerative therapies for previously incurable muscle diseases

Million euro support for MyoPax

MyoPax, a new spin-off of the Max Delbrück Center and Charité, receives a 1.3 million euros loan to jump-start its entrepreneurial activities. The start-up develops regenerative therapies for previously incurable muscle diseases using its innovative muscle stem cell technology.

The BioInnovation Institute Foundation (BII) in Copenhagen, Denmark, announced that it will be supporting three international start-up companies from Germany, the UK, and Finland. The ventures are strategically aligned with the incubator’s focus, developing ground-breaking scientific initiatives across the therapeutics and health tech space.

MyoPax is one of the three life science spin-offs. It builds on cutting-edge technologies developed by scientists at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (Max Delbrück Center) and the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. MyoPax was founded by the medical doctor Verena Schöwel-Wolf and Professor Simone Spuler, who leads the muscle research group and the Outpatient Clinic for Muscle Disorders at the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC), a joint institution established by the Max Delbrück Center and Charité on the campus in Berlin Buch. Now, the start-up has three employees and is taking its first steps on an international level.

Repair muscle function

MyoPax’ mission is to develop advanced regenerative therapies to fight the devastating consequences of muscle diseases. Their pioneering technology combines cell and gene therapy to repair muscle function.

The spin-off is based in Berlin and Copenhagen and originates from the translational ecosystem of the Max Delbrück Center, the Charité and the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH). In the lead-up to spin-off launch, both the Max Delbrück Center and the BIH have closely supported MyoPax. To make the leap from the lab to clinical use possible, the Max Delbrück Center facilitated the development of the project in the ERDF-funded Pharma Incubator with its programs PreGoBio and SPOT. The BIH accelerated the spin-off activity via its Spark program. Furthermore, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Helmholtz Validation Fund (HVF), provided optimal support for the first-in-human clinical trials at Charité with around five million euros to proof safety and efficacy of the investigational drugs developed with the new technology

Guided to a competitive international level

Like the two other companies, MyoPax will now be funded with a risk-free convertible loan of 1.3 million euros and is going to be part of the BII’s community of life science start-ups. In collaboration with the BII team and its network of experts, the three companies will be guided to a competitive international level, receiving support in the roll out of detailed development plans concerning drug development, good manufacturing practice and regulatory strategy, ahead of a Seed or Series A financing round.

Thomas Sommer, Scientific Director of the Max Delbrück Center (interim) said: "We are very pleased for MyoPax to receive this support. Based on the research at Max Delbrück Center and ECRC, important new therapeutic approaches are being advanced here. Muscle diseases are common and have multiple causes. Unfortunately, the prospect of finding a cure is so far low. Stem cell technologies could help alleviate this."

Verena Schöwel, CEO of MyoPax, added: “We thank BII for placing their trust in MyoPax. We are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration. With operational locations in Berlin and Copenhagen, we are integrated in two excellent ecosystems to develop MyoPax and achieve our mission of translating cutting-edge science into regenerative therapies for muscle diseases.”

The two other ventures

Sevenless Therapeutics: Using state-of-the-art mathematical methodology, this next generation biotech company has identified a novel target in pain signaling, defined the properties required for success and validated these predictions with data. Enabled by this insight, their highly experienced drug discovery team will efficiently deliver a safe and effective drug candidate for treating pain. This discovery will make a significant difference to the many patients suffering from inadequately treated chronic pain.

VEIL.AI: A company that brings the quality of anonymized health data to a new level with next-generation anonymization technology creating extremely high-quality subject-level anonymized and synthetic data. It enables better use of GDPR-free data for life science and diagnostics companies, hospitals and health data hubs.

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