bluebird bio LLC
This article was originally published in Start Up
bluebird bio LLC has taken in $65 million in venture capital over the past year, thanks to encouraging studies with two different kinds of lentiviral vectors that transfer new copies of genes into patients' own stem cells. Given that vectors have different properties - one integrates into the DNA coding region, the other does not - the company might eventually be able to mix and match therapeutic gene "fillings" to vectors as needed. The start-up is ready to start commercializing gene therapies for serious genetic disorders, starting with ALD and beta-thalassemia. .
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Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical LLC
Biotech veteran Emil Kakkis founded Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical LLC to develop treatments for rare disorders. First up: a potential therapy for hereditary inclusion body myopathies. There are several variants of this neuromuscular disorder, which causes progressive muscle weakness. By the end of the disease course, patients can be almost quadriplegic in terms of motor function. Ultragenyx is betting it can help restore muscle function in people diagnosed with HIBM by providing a continuous and steady source of sialic acid, likely through thrice-daily oral administration.