Focusing on the Future of
At MEC, we believe the technologies created in this decade will lead to a golden age in innovation within the life sciences space. MEC invests in company creation, seed, Series A, and Series B opportunities where technology and novel approaches are transformative for patient care and directly address large, unmet needs. Our areas of focus include, but are not limited to:
The use of algorithms and advanced digital processing to find new, more effective therapies and reduce the cost of developing drugs.
The therapeutic methodologies designed to replace, inactivate, or introduce a new gene to treat disease. The transplantation of human cells to replace diseased or missing cells.
Predictive, data-driven diagnostics or treatments in which prevention and care strategies are highly customized according to an individual’s genes, lifestyle, and environment.
Scientific methods designed to repair, regrow, or replace damaged or diseased cells, tissues, or organs.
Redesigning or re-engineering and assembling new biological systems by combining non-living and live biomolecular components.
Headquartered in San Diego, Aspen Neuroscience, Inc. is a development stage, private biotechnology company focused on personalized cell therapies. The company is developing iPSCs to address diseases with high unmet medical need, beginning with autologous neuron replacement for both sporadic and genetic forms of Parkinson’s disease, and extending across the brain and central nervous system.
Avilar Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery and development of extracellular protein degraders, a new frontier in targeted protein degradation. Avilar develops ATACs (ASGPR Targeting Chimeras), a new class of protein degraders that shuttle disease-causing proteins from circulation to the endolysosome where the unwanted proteins are degraded. Avilar has built a proprietary discovery platform that includes novel, high-affinity, small molecule ASGPR ligands and advanced modeling of the biophysics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of ATAC mediated endocytosis and degradation. This platform enables the modular design and synthesis of ATACs extendable across the extracellular proteome to a wide range of proteins involved in the pathogenesis of human diseases. Avilar is leveraging its ATAC platform to create a broad and diverse pipeline of first-in-class extracellular protein degraders.
Immunitas is a precision immunotherapy company committed to discovering and developing novel, differentiated treatments for patients with cancer. A focus on human data, combined with fully integrated internal R&D capabilities and parallel discovery efforts, allows Immunitas to start with and stay closer to the most relevant and translatable biology for patients, accelerating the timeline from discovery to the clinic. The Immunitas discovery engine combines deep expertise in single-cell genomics with customized machine learning approaches to elucidate immune cell populations that are key actors in immuno-oncology. Its lead program, IMT-009 (a-CD161 mAb), for solid tumor and hematological malignancies, is an NK and T cell modulator for both monotherapy and combination therapy and will enter clinical trials in patients in 2022. Validation is underway for multiple additional first-in-class research targets, with drug candidate nomination forthcoming. The company was founded by Longwood Fund with leading scientists from Dana-Farber, MGH, the Broad, and MIT. Since being founded in 2019, Immunitas has raised a total of $97 million in venture funding from a strong syndicate of investors including Agent Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Evotec, Leaps by Bayer, Longwood Fund, M Ventures, Medical Excellence Capital, and Novartis Venture Fund.
Nobias Therapeutics is a spinout from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning-aided analysis of genotypes and clinical records to develop new therapies designed to cure illnesses in children. The company was founded in 2020 by MEC Managing Partner, Brian Halak, and Dr. Hakon Hakonarson. Dr. Hakonarson is the Founding Director of the Center for Applied Genomics and Endowed Chair in Genomics Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Professor of Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Nobias has two programs entering clinical trials that address the genetic basis of two different rare diseases in children. In addition, Nobias has launched discovery programs in a variety of rare and common diseases, thus creating a platform for therapeutic discovery.
Pleno Inc. is an early-stage company developing a new innovative platform for highly sensitive genetic testing, such as monitoring minimal residual disease and early multi-cancer screening. The platform will detect a diverse collection of analytical targets that includes DNA, RNA, and protein biomarkers with unprecedented speed and precision, and leverage advanced microfluidics to automate all aspects of sample preparation and analysis.
ProJenX is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel small molecule therapeutics that target motor neuron degenerative pathways for the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases. ProJenX is an MEC company creation effort in partnership with Project ALS, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization committed to ALS research. The company’s first product Prosetin is the first investigational drug developed by researchers at the Project ALS Therapeutics Core at Columbia as a potential treatment for ALS. It is an oral, brain penetrant, small molecule shown in multiple laboratory models of ALS to block MAP4 kinases, a specific group of protein kinases that we have shown to promote endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated motor neuron loss in ALS models.
Rejuvitas provides novel gene therapies employing metabolic reprogramming and regenerative medicine technologies developed in the lab of acclaimed geneticist, Stephen Tsang, M.D., PhD. The company is a MEC (Medical Excellence Capital) company creation founded along with Dr. Tsang, using IP licensed from Columbia University. In addition, Alexandria Technology Ventures has invested alongside. Rejuvitas is developing genetic and metabolic regenerative medicine therapies that address the underlying common cause of retinal degeneration and several significant neurodegenerative diseases. The lead program is targeting Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare genetic disorder of the retina.
SonoThera is developing an ultrasound-guided nonviral gene therapy platform and therapies to provide patients with the next generation of genetic medicines.