€1.3 million boost for MyoPax
MyoPax, a new spin-off of the Max Delbrück Center and Charité, is receiving a €1.3 million loan to jump-start its business development. The start-up uses its innovative stem cell technology to create regenerative therapies for previously incurable muscle diseases. The BIH has provided support and guidance to the spin-off through SPARK-BIH, a mentoring program of Charité BIH Innovation.
MyoPax is one of three life science spin-offs chosen to receive support from the Venture House program of the BioInnovation Institute (BII). The company leverages cutting-edge technologies developed by scientists at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (Max Delbrück Center).
It was founded by the physician Verena Schöwel-Wolf and Prof. Simone Spuler, a neurologist who leads the Muscle Research Unit and Outpatient Clinic for Muscle Disorders at the Experimental and Clinical Research Center (ECRC), a joint institution of Charité and the Max Delbrück Center on Campus Berlin Buch.
MyoPax – a beacon of hope for patients with previously incurable muscle diseases
MyoPax’s mission is to develop advanced regenerative therapies that treat the underlying causes of muscle diseases and combat the devastating consequences of such diseases. Its pioneering technology uses a combination of cell and gene therapy to restore muscle function. The start-up is based in Berlin and Copenhagen and grew out of the translational ecosystem of the Max Delbrück Center, Charité, and the Berlin Institute of Health at Charité (BIH).
During the run-up to the spin-off, the Max Delbrück Center and the BIH both provided extensive support to MyoPax. In 2016 MyoPax entered the SPARK-BIH program of Charité BIH Innovation, the joint technology transfer office, and has since established itself increasingly as a beacon of hope for patients with muscle diseases like genetic muscle wasting disorders. To make the leap from the lab to the clinic possible, the Max Delbrück Center facilitated the development of the project in its ERDF-funded Pharma Incubator through the PreGoBio and SPOT programs. First-in-human clinical trials are underway at Charité. They aim to prove the safety and efficacy of the investigational drugs developed with the new technology and are well funded with around €6 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Helmholtz Validation Fund (HVF).
More impact by being competitive internationally
The BioInnovation Institute, a foundation located in Copenhagen, Denmark, will support three international start-up companies from Germany, the United Kingdom, and Finland. The three new ventures are strategically aligned with the BII’s focus of developing groundbreaking scientific initiatives across the therapeutics and health tech space.
MyoPax – like the other two companies – will now receive a risk-free convertible loan of €1.3 million and will be part of the BII community of life science start-ups. In collaboration with the BII team and a whole network of experts, the three companies should reach an internationally competitive level. In the run-up to a seed or Series A funding round, they will receive comprehensive support to develop and implement detailed plans for drug development, good manufacturing practice (GMP), and regulatory strategy.
Commenting on the announcement, Christopher Baum, Chair of the BIH Board of Directors and Chief Translational Research Officer of Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, said: “We congratulate MyoPax on its funding from the BioInnovation Institute and are pleased to have been able to support this promising start-up on its journey so far. Especially in complex areas like novel therapy development, start-ups do not emerge on their own, but need the right environment, guidance, and support – in this case through our SPARK-BIH program.”
Dr. Verena Schöwel-Wolf, CEO of MyoPax, added: “We thank the BII for placing their trust in MyoPax and are looking forward to a fruitful collaboration. With operational locations in Berlin and Copenhagen, we are integrated in two excellent ecosystems to develop MyoPax and achieve our mission of translating cutting-edge science into regenerative therapies for muscle diseases. The SPARK-BIH program has been a central pillar for us along the road to realizing the spin-off. Under the leadership of Dr. Tanja Rosenmund, SPARK has become an engine in Berlin for medical innovation translation. Meanwhile SPARK is a global network and, since early 2022, it has also been very active in Denmark thanks to support from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.”
More information on the „Venture House Programm“ at the BioInnovation Institute can be found here.
Prof. Dr. Simone Spuler’s appearance on „Ein Herz für Kinder“ can be streamed here.