Cellics Therapeutics, San Diego, CA, USA
Adjunct therapeutic for sepsis
Cellics’ innovative nanosponge project uses the natural receptors on human macrophage membranes – a type of white blood cell in the immune system – to soak up and neutralize bacterial toxins and inflammatory cytokines that can cause sepsis. The project is designed as an adjunct to be used in combination with antibiotics and other medicines. Nanosponges stop the cascade that leads to sepsis by trapping endotoxins and pro-inflammatory cytokines onto their macrophage cell membranes, neutralizing them. The nanosponges are injected in such large quantities that they vastly outnumber the organism’s own macrophages, ensuring that sepsis and a cytokine storm can be avoided. Since the nanosponges are covered in actual macrophage cell membranes, they can pass as the body’s own immune cells and circulate in the bloodstream without being evicted. Sepsis-fighting nanosponges are one example of the cell membrane cloaking technology pioneered by UC San Diego nanoengineering Professor Liangfang Zhang.
Current Development Stage: Lead Optimization
CARB-X Investment: Initial investment of up to $3.94m, with potential option payments up to $11.05m.
Initial CARB-X Investment Date: August 1, 2020
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