Kanvas Biosciences Acquires Federation Bio Assets


Kanvas Biosciences Acquires Federation Bio Assets

by Kerry Walker


PRINCE­TON, N.J. – (BUSI­NESS WIRE)–Kan­vas Bio­sciences, the leader in micro­bio­me map­ping tech­nol­o­gy, today announced it acquired two active ther­a­peu­tics pro­grams, a micro­bial library, and intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty from Fed­er­a­tion Bio, a man­u­fac­tur­er of live bio­ther­a­peu­tics prod­ucts (LBPs). This acqui­si­tion tran­si­tions Kan­vas Bio­sciences from a tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­ny with a trans­for­ma­tive spa­tial biol­o­gy plat­form to a full-stack ther­a­peu­tics com­pa­ny with active clin­i­cal pro­grams and a new cell bank­ing facil­i­ty in South San Fran­cis­co. The deal also expands the company’s lead­er­ship and West Coast pres­ence with the addi­tion of Lee Swem, for­mer­ly Fed­er­a­tion Bio’s Chief Sci­ence Offi­cer, who joined Kan­vas Bio­sciences as Chief Devel­op­ment Officer.

Kan­vas Bio­sciences is lead­ing the way in under­stand­ing exact­ly how the micro­bio­me ben­e­fits human health. This acqui­si­tion allows us to man­u­fac­ture and clin­i­cal­ly inves­ti­gate com­plex micro­bial con­sor­tia much faster than pre­vi­ous­ly envi­sioned. Rather than devote years to build­ing a man­u­fac­tur­ing process from the ground up, we’re thrilled to be able to pos­i­tive­ly impact patients’ lives much faster by acquir­ing these key tech­nolo­gies,” said Matthew Cheng, co-founder and CEO of Kan­vas Bio­sciences. The Kan­vas Bio­sciences and Fed­er­a­tion Bio teams have worked togeth­er syn­er­gis­ti­cal­ly for years on micro­bio­me projects and I couldn’t be more excit­ed about how much more we’re going to accom­plish with our com­bined plat­form technologies.”

The micro­bio­me plays a crit­i­cal role in either improv­ing or exac­er­bat­ing a broad range of dis­eases such as auto-immune con­di­tions, meta­bol­ic dis­or­ders, gas­troin­testi­nal dis­or­ders and can­cer. While inter­ven­tion with micro­bial ther­a­pies has proven effec­tive at reduc­ing some con­di­tions caused by micro­bial dys­bio­sis – includ­ing the recur­rence of C. dif­fi­cile col­i­tis – there remains a lack of tools for under­stand­ing the biol­o­gy of and treat­ments for oth­er micro­bio­me-address­able dis­eases. By dis­cov­er­ing and devel­op­ing supe­ri­or micro­bial ther­a­pies with dif­fer­ent mech­a­nisms of action, Kan­vas’ ther­a­pies can act syn­er­gis­ti­cal­ly and safe­ly with exist­ing treat­ments to improve out­comes for micro­bio­me-address­able dis­eases. Addi­tion­al­ly, the company’s high­ly mul­ti­plexed spa­tial imag­ing tech­nol­o­gy (orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in Nature) allows phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal, biotech and health­care orga­ni­za­tions to bet­ter under­stand micro­bio­me-host inter­ac­tions by pro­vid­ing a Google Maps-like expe­ri­ence for visu­al­iz­ing the native micro­bio­me. The tech­nol­o­gy also pro­vides a gran­u­lar look into where an LBP engrafts and the meta­bol­ic func­tions it pro­vides. With nov­el spa­tial biol­o­gy and man­u­fac­tur­ing plat­forms, Kan­vas Bio­sciences is cre­at­ing a first-in-cat­e­go­ry com­pa­ny capa­ble of lever­ag­ing com­plex micro­bial ther­a­pies with hun­dreds of mem­bers simultaneously.

As part of the asset acqui­si­tion, Kan­vas Bio­sciences will advance two core ini­tia­tives that improve the treat­ment of preva­lent diseases:

  • Immuno-oncol­o­gy Pro­gram: Immunother­a­py has increas­ing­ly become a stan­dard ther­a­py for many sol­id organ tumors such as melanoma, lung can­cer and colon can­cer, how­ev­er many patients do not respond to the treat­ment. In col­lab­o­ra­tion with The Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas MD Ander­son Can­cer Cen­ter and the institution’s Plat­form for Inno­v­a­tive Micro­bio­me and Trans­la­tion­al Research (PRIME-TR), Kan­vas Bio­sciences will design and man­u­fac­ture a com­plex, syn­thet­ic micro­bio­me-based ther­a­py com­posed of fecal micro­bio­ta trans­plant (FMT) strains to enable more can­cer patients to ben­e­fit from immunother­a­py. With ear­ly pre-clin­i­cal data show­ing promis­ing results, Kan­vas Bio­sciences and MD Ander­son will soon begin drug manufacturing.
  • Inflam­ma­to­ry Bow­el Dis­ease Pro­gram: Kan­vas Bio­sciences is work­ing to pro­duce ther­a­pies for many dis­eases asso­ci­at­ed with the micro­bio­me, includ­ing inflam­ma­to­ry bow­el dis­ease, which impacts 1 in every 100 Amer­i­cans. Kan­vas Bio­sciences is cur­rent­ly explor­ing part­ner­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties to bring this pro­gram to patients.

Our work with Fed­er­a­tion Bio demon­strat­ed our unique abil­i­ty to engi­neer com­plex, syn­thet­ic micro­bial con­sor­tia. We look for­ward to build­ing on that work with Kan­vas Bio­sciences using their plat­form tech­nol­o­gy with the goal of fur­ther improv­ing immunother­a­py respons­es for patients with can­cer,” said Jen­nifer War­go, M.D., pro­fes­sor of Genom­ic Med­i­cine and Sur­gi­cal Oncol­o­gy and direc­tor of PRIME-TR at MD Ander­son. This agree­ment allows us to accel­er­ate an already pro­duc­tive col­lab­o­ra­tion, and we hope it will enable us to more quick­ly devel­op and man­u­fac­ture more micro­bio­me-based ther­a­pies for our patients.”

This sum­mer, Kan­vas Bio­sciences secured $12 mil­lion in Pre-Series A fund­ing led by DCVC and Lions Cap­i­tal. In the com­ing months, the com­pa­ny will begin man­u­fac­tur­ing cell banks for the lead immuno-oncol­o­gy con­sor­tia, deploy its high­ly mul­ti­plexed spa­tial imag­ing tech­nol­o­gy to fur­ther accel­er­ate drug dis­cov­ery pro­grams and engage part­ners for the inflam­ma­to­ry bow­el dis­ease pro­gram. For more infor­ma­tion on Kan­vas Bio­sciences, vis­it https://​www​.kan​vas​bio​.com/.

About Kan­vas Biosciences

Kan­vas Bio­sciences is a ther­a­peu­tics com­pa­ny build­ing the world’s first micro­bio­me drug screen­ing, dis­cov­ery and man­u­fac­tur­ing plat­form to accel­er­ate the devel­op­ment of next gen­er­a­tion live bio­ther­a­peu­tics. With an unpar­al­leled abil­i­ty to spa­tial­ly map the micro­bio­me and pro­file host gene expres­sion and man­u­fac­ture com­plex con­sor­tia con­tain­ing hun­dreds of mem­bers that can restore micro­bio­me health, the com­pa­ny is unique­ly posi­tioned to devel­op nov­el ther­a­peu­tics that can sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve the lives of all patients liv­ing with micro­bio­me-asso­ci­at­ed dis­eases. Kan­vas Bio­sciences’ tech­nol­o­gy was ini­tial­ly devel­oped at Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty and exclu­sive­ly licensed. The com­pa­ny’s notable investors include DCVC, Lions Cap­i­tal LLC, Cooke LLC, Uncom­mon Denom­i­na­tor and Triple Impact Cap­i­tal. Kan­vas Bio­sciences is head­quar­tered in Prince­ton, NJ.