Cellvie is a Harvard University spin-off that focuses on the development of medicines on the basis of cells, in so doing seeking to exploit the potential of mitochondria. The start-up, which is based in the St.GallenBodenseeArea, has now successfully raised a total of 5 million US dollars as part of a seed funding round, which, according to a press release, was led by Kizoo Technology Capital.
Cellvie intends to use the gross proceeds from this financing round to drive forward product development. Specifically, a clinical trial in the field of organ transplantation is to be prepared, while the company is also keen to expand its development program in the area of rejuvenation therapies.
Mitochondria are responsible for generating the majority of cellular energy. In cases where mitochondria stop functioning properly, this can lead to diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s or even cause heart attacks and strokes. “But treating mitochondria has proven to be an arduous challenge”, comments Dr. James McCully in the press release. He is one of the founders of Cellvie and an Associate Professor at Boston Children’s Hospital. Moreover, McCully devised the Therapeutic Mitochondria Transfer (TMT) approach, as detailed in the press release. Due to the challenging nature of this treatment, McCully and his colleagues switched their focus to “introducing healthy, viable mitochondria into cells where these organelles are impaired. To great effect. We can sustainably reinvigorate cells’ failing energy metabolism”, McCully states.
According to the press release, this success has been demonstrated in a clinical trial at Boston Children’s Hospital. Overall, this showed that 80 percent of the children who had suffered a cardiogenic shock subsequently displayed indications of myocardial recovery, as against original expectations of just 29 percent. “The implications of our findings are ground-breaking. We may have the chance to bring about a new treatment modality”, explains Dr. Alexander Schueller, co-founder and CEO of Cellvie.