CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Vesigen Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering a novel extracellular vesicle delivery technology to develop transformative therapeutics, today announced the addition of Dr. Lucio Iannone, Senior Director of Venture Investments at Leaps by Bayer, to its Board of Directors. Iannone joins Gerald Chan, Chairman, and Stephen Bruso of Morningside Ventures and Juergen Eckhardt of Leaps by Bayer on Vesigen’s Board.
“We are pleased to welcome Lucio to our Board of Directors to join us on our mission to progress the ARMMs technology forward across a wide range of therapeutic targets and areas,” said Vesigen Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Millman. “Since our launch, we have significantly scaled-up our research and operational growth and look forward to leveraging the valuable insight from our Board of Directors to help guide us with target expansion and preclinical development.”
Iannone brings years of global life sciences perspective to Vesigen. At Leaps by Bayer, he is responsible for developing investment cases and finalizing deal execution. He is also involved in sourcing, screening, and mentoring companies evolving groundbreaking science. Iannone was as an integral figure in the financing, and currently serves as a board member, for Khloris Biosciences, Pyxis Oncology, Immunitas Therapeutics, eGenesis, Azitra, and Axxam. Prior to Leaps by Bayer, Iannone held several senior roles at various biotechnology companies and venture capital firms. Iannone obtained his Ph.D. in Medicine at the Imperial College of London.
Vesigen is a start-up developing drugs based on its patented ARRDC1-mediated microvesicles (ARMMs) technology, a class of fusogenic extracellular vesicles produced by cells to package and deliver communication signals between cells and tissues. ARMMs possess unique properties, not found in other classes of extracellular vesicles, such as exosomes, making them better suited for delivering therapeutic agents. A wide range of labile and difficult to deliver therapeutic agents, including RNAs (mRNA, shRNA, ribozymes), proteins (signaling proteins, enzymes, antibody fragments), and gene-editing complexes (Cas9/gRNA) have been packaged into ARMMs and functionally delivered intracellularly in vitro and in vivo.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Vesigen team at this early stage, as they endeavor to disrupt current barriers in drug delivery and design new pathways for treatment options enabling curative treatments in a large spectrum of disease areas,” said Lucio Iannone, Ph.D. “Leaps by Bayer is committed to investing in transformative biotechnologies with the ability to move the paradigm from treatment to cure.”
About Vesigen Therapeutics
Vesigen Therapeutics is a biotechnology company advancing groundbreaking therapies directed to intracellular targets using a fusogenic extracellular vesicle delivery technology. Our patented technology, called ARMMs (ARRDC1 Mediated Microvesicles), is expanding the universe of druggable targets by enabling the delivery of a wide range of payloads, including RNAs (mRNA, shRNA, ribozymes), proteins (signaling proteins, enzymes, antibody fragments), and gene-editing complexes (Cas9/gRNA) directly into the cytoplasm of target cells. The team is committed to leveraging ARMMs technology to develop transformative medicines and address currently unmet medical needs. For additional information visit www.vesigentx.com.
ARMMs vesicles (ARRDC1-mediated microvesicles) are a class of fusogenic extracellular vesicles produced by cells to package and deliver communication signals between cells and tissues. The ARMMs cellular machinery is partially hijacked by many enveloped viruses, such as HIV and Ebola, to produce viruses which bud out of host cells and have specific targeting properties. ARMMs possess unique properties not found in other classes of extracellular vesicles (e.g. exosomes), making them better suited for delivering therapeutic agents. It has been demonstrated that a wide range of labile and difficult to deliver therapeutic agents, including RNAs (mRNA, shRNA, ribozymes), proteins (signaling proteins, enzymes, antibody fragments), and gene-editing complexes (Cas9/gRNA) can be packaged into ARMMs and functionally delivered intracellularly in vitro and in vivo. ARMMs vesicles were discovered and engineered into a drug delivery system in the lab of Quan Lu, PhD, Professor of Environmental Genetics and Physiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health with support in particular from Harvard’s Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator. Vesigen will advance the ARMMs platform to develop innovative medicines for patients through an exclusive license agreement with Harvard University.
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