Summary: Seattle-based biotech startup BioViva USA Inc. and London-based biotech investment fund Deep Knowledge Life Sciences (DKLS) are announcing a partnership with the aim of bringing about affordable gene therapies.
"BioViva aims to make gene therapy affordable to everyone. Dmitry Kaminskiy, the founding partner of Deep Knowledge Life Sciences, is enthusiastically funding gene therapy, and is himself an early adopter", said BioViva CEO Elizabeth Parrish, adding "We both want to see a world where investors actually live their legacy instead of just leaving it", alluding to a possible future trend.
Parrish made headlines in 2015 when she travelled to an undisclosed location outside the US and personally underwent two of her own company's experimental gene therapies: one to protect against loss of muscle mass with age, another to battle stem cell depletion. It was a gesture intended to prove the safety of the therapies and clear the road ahead for human trials in the US. Months later, BioViva are tracking her results and she has reported no negative side-effects.
"I believed the biotech industry had become over-regulated and that the prevailing model was unlikely to bring new therapies to market in our lifetime. What we needed was a company that would treat diseased patients with no other options and then develop these treatments into preventative medicines. BioViva has accomplished so much with so little. Now, with DKLS behind, so much more is possible. The sky's the limit for Bioviva", said Parrish.
"BioViva's game-changing approach makes it an ideal fit for the DKLS portfolio with its exclusive focus on disruptive biotechnologies aimed at tackling biomedicine's greatest challenges. The sooner we can bring affordable gene therapies and other cell therapies to market, the more needless deaths can be avoided", said the fund's founding partner Dmitry Kaminskiy, adding "Liz Parrish is a model leader of company, and we could like to see more founders in our portfolio with skin-in-the-game."
For Kaminskiy, it's not all about profits. He wants to shift the entire industry up a gear, and put an end to the lack of vision he believes has mired biotechnology for decades. Smarter funding for translational biomedical science would raise human life expectancy to 120 and beyond.
"Many innovative companies have come to us looking for funding and support. BioViva is one among several other breakthrough companies that are going to leapfrog the current generation of biotech and will be included in our portfolio. This is the start of a big trend, and it ought to give investors food for thought. 2017 will be year in which we will see an investment boom in the longevity industry", said Kaminskiy.
About BioViva: BioViva USA, Inc. is a to-clinic gene therapeutics company incorporated in Delaware. BioViva utilizes intramural and extramural peer-reviewed research in order to create marketable therapies for treating age-related diseases and infirmities -- including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, heart-disease, cancer, sarcopenia and kidney failure -- at the level of the genome. For more information visit: http://bioviva-science.
About Deep Knowledge Life Sciences (DKLS): An innovative investment fund which aims to accelerate the development of biotechnologies for healthy longevity. It is London-based subsidiary of Deep Knowledge Ventures. DKLS has gathered eight life science portfolio companies of Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV), including Insilico Medicine and Pathway Pharmaceutical. For more information visit: http://deepknowledge.