Tech Transfer eNews Blog

U of Rochester start-up acquired for cell-based treatments of neurological disorders


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: December 1st, 2020

Oscine Corp., a University of Rochester (UR) start-up developing cell-based therapies to treat central nervous diseases, has been acquired by Seattle-based Sana Biotechnologies.

Oscine’s technology targets malfunctioning glial progenitor cells, which lie at the root of many neurodegenerative and myelin disorders including multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease. According to Oscine’s president and scientific founder Steve Goldman, replacing malfunctioning cells with healthy ones can slow or even reverse disease progression in animal models of these diseases.

Sana has acquired the exclusive licenses for Oscine’s technology portfolio, as well as UR’s equity stake in the start-up. Goldman and the university may continue to receive significant licensing, milestone and royalty payments from Sana depending on the technology’s developmental and commercial success.

“After three decades of research into how to repair the cellular structure of the diseased brain, it is heartening to know that Sana plans to urgently drive these therapies to the clinic to explore their potential benefit for the many patients and their families stricken with these largely incurable diseases,” says Goldman, a professor at the UR Medical Center.

Prior to the acquisition, Sana invested in Oscine to help bring the start-up’s research on cell-based therapies from the lab to the clinic.

“The University of Rochester has been working closely with Dr. Goldman’s lab and the Oscine team from its inception,” says Scott Catlin, director of UR Ventures, the university’s technology transfer office. “We are thrilled with the company’s impressive progress and its acquisition by Sana and look forward to continue supporting the commercialization of Dr. Goldman’s technologies.”

Goldman will join Sana as senior vice president and head of central nervous system therapy, overseeing the company’s strategy in the central nervous system realm and its efforts related to Oscine’s technologies.

Source: Rochester Beacon

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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