Epic Bio, a biotechnology company developing therapies to modulate gene expression using compact, non-cutting dCas proteins, has been named to Fierce Biotech’s 2023 “Fierce 15” list, designating it as one of the most outstanding early-stage biotechnology companies in the industry.
“We are very proud to be recognized by Fierce with this honor. It’s a testament to the power of our epigenetic editing platform and the acumen of our team that we’ve made such exciting progress over the past year,” said Amber Salzman, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Epic Bio. “Specifically, our hypercompact CRISPR tools enable us to create in vivo therapies packaged within a single AAV, and we’ve shown that these therapies can accomplish durable gene activation and silencing. As we work to advance our lead program into the clinic next year, we’re committed to maximizing the potential of our platform to treat serious diseases that are insufficiently addressed by today’s genetic medicines.”
Since launching in July 2022 with a $55 million Series A, Epic has achieved numerous scientific milestones with its Gene Expression Modulation System (GEMS) platform, culminating in presentations at scientific conferences and support from organizations including SOLVE FSHD. Data presented in the past year have included preclinical studies supporting its lead program, EPI-321, in mice and non-human primates, and platform advances including the engineering of hypercompact Cas effectors that are smaller and more effective than CasMINI, the smallest Cas protein known to work in human cells.
The company’s lead program, EPI-321, is a first-in-class therapy for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), one of the most common forms of muscular dystrophy. Epic plans to initiate a first-in-human clinical trial of EPI-321 in early 2024.
“For the past 21 years, we have assessed hundreds of early-stage companies for inclusion in the ‘Fierce 15’ special report. To curate this list, we consider a diverse range of factors, including the robustness of their technology, partnerships, venture support and their competitive positioning within the market,” said Ayla Ellison, Editor-in-Chief, Fierce Life Sciences and Healthcare. “Our special report celebrates innovation and creativity in the face of intense competition.”
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