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Duke start-up lands $7M in seed funding to accelerate purification technology for viral vectors


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: May 12th, 2021

A Duke University start-up has raised $7 million in seed funding to advance its purification technology for biotherapeutics.

Isolere Bio will use the funding to develop, scale-up and commercialize IsoTag, a purification technology for adeno-associated viral vectors (AAV), which make up 40% of the viral vector market, according to the start-up.

Viral vectors are engineered and used to develop therapeutic genes for the treatment of diseases that were previously thought to be untreatable.

“Viral vectors are very complex and very difficult to manufacture, which is where Isolere’s technology comes in,” says Kelli Luginbuhl, co-founder and CEO of Isolere Bio and a Duke alumnus.

Isolere’s IsoTag technology is designed to improve viral vector yields by 50% or more, and to increase productivity by a factor of five to 10. Overall, the technology could speed up timelines and lower costs for the development of new biotherapeutics.

The $7 million seed round was led by Maryland-based VC firm Northpond Ventures. According to Luginbuhl, the funding gives Isolere a significant runway and the ability to expand its team.

“Northpond is honored to collaborate with Isolere and contribute this seed funding,” says Adam Wieschhaus, director of Northpond Ventures. “Isolere’s technology represents a step change in how gene therapies will be manufactured. We are privileged to collaborate with this incredibly talented team in developing highly accessible and scalable solutions for gene therapy manufacturing.”

Source: Triangle Business Journal

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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