— University of Michigan BioInterfaces Institute spinout has developed a technology to treat a wide range of life-threatening inflammatory diseases, including Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)—
AUSTIN, TX, March 9th, 2021 – Research Bridge Partners – a 501 (c) (3) organization that makes formative investments in biomedical startup companies based on the breakthroughs of preeminent innovators at mid-continent research universities— announced a seed capital investment in Asalyxa Bio, a University of Michigan spinout that has developed a drug-delivery technology to treat a wide range of inflammatory diseases. The company also announced the designation of Dr. Lola Eniola-Adefeso, Asalyxa Bio’s Chief Scientific Officer, as Research Bridge Partners Fellow.
Research Bridge Partners’ program-related investment will help the company fund development of core technologies and intellectual property, while supporting IND-enabling studies required to obtain the permission of regulatory authorities to begin human clinical testing. With this investment, James Graham, Research Bridge Partners Managing Director of Investments, has joined the company’s board of directors.
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.”
Dr. Eniola-Adefeso, the University Diversity and Social Transformation Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, explains: “Neutrophils are the most common, yet least glamorous white blood cells. 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.)
“Asalyxa’s technology has true life-saving potential,” said Graham, “and a clear mechanism of action that will help accelerate program development and commercialization.”
“We are excited to work with James and the team at RBP to advance this research to clinical studies and, ultimately, into medical practice,” said Dr. Eniola-Adefeso
About Research Bridge Partners
Research Bridge Partners, a 501 (c) (3) organization, makes formative investments in biomedical startup companies based on the breakthroughs of preeminent innovators at mid-continent research universities—creating high quality investment opportunities that are sourced from geographies with thinner commercialization resources.
Founded by Isaac Barchas and Reid Hoffman, we use proprietary analytics to identify the less than 1% of academic researchers nationwide whose science and entrepreneurial mindsets are characteristic of successful biomedical startups. We then make seed capital and scaling investments and establish effective corporate structures to create portfolio-ready opportunities for downstream investors.
About Asalyxa Bio
Asalyxa Bio is a drug development and platform technology company focused on novel therapeutics to treat major unmet medical needs caused by the dysregulation of immune signaling. With applications across a wide array of disease areas and conditions, Asalyxa Bio’s platform technology enables delivery of existing and novel drugs directly into over-reactive immune cells. https://www.asalyxabio.com