Curi Bio receives $6m funding boost for human stem cell platforms

The financing will support Curi Bio’s 2D and 3D platforms, which aim to improve the predictivity of human stem cell-derived tissue for drug discovery.

Curi Bio’s platform technologies use human iPSC-derived cells, tissue-specific biosystems, and AI-enabled data analytics to help accelerate the discovery of therapeutics. The Series A financing round, led by Dynamk Capital, will help grow the business and validate the tech to show the need for predictive and mature human stem cell platforms to close the gap between preclinical results and clinical outcomes.

“We’re proud to lead this Series A financing for critical predictive platforms enabling discovery and therapeutic development as they scale their technologies and customer base,” Daniella Kranjac, founding partner of Dynamk Capital, said.

Image: iStock/nattul

Curi’s technologies are based on the belief that cells in the dish should resemble cells in the body, and the two human stem cell maturation platforms – NanoSurface (2D tissues) and Mantarray (3D tissues) – look to improve the predictivity and physiological relevance of human stem cell-derived cardiac and skeletal muscle tissues for drug discovery

“Traditional cell culture platforms — such as hard glass or plastic petri dishes — lack the essential cues found in the human body and often have cells with random orientation, resulting in poor structure and function,” Heejoon Choi, director of Sales & Marketing at Curi Bio, told BioProcess Insider.

“They also aren’t really great environments to grow cells in, as neither glass nor plastic are present in the body. NanoSurface Plates feature a nanopatterned surface (softer than glass or plastic) that mimics essential cues found in the body and helps align and structurally mature cells and tissues,” he continued.

“This is especially pertinent in pharmaceutical development, when drug developers are testing compounds in high-throughput. NanoSurface aligns tissues to reduce plate-to-plate variability and improve the physiological relevance of the cell cultures.”

Meanwhile, the Mantarray platform enables researchers to build structurally and functionally mature 3D engineered muscle tissues (EMTs), he said.

“3D EMTs are more biologically complex than 2D tissues and thus, more human relevant. A key metric researchers can measure with the Mantarray platform is contractility, or how much a tissue contracts in response to external stimuli, such as a novel therapeutic. The platform features a novel magnetic sensing technique that can detect the contraction of EMTs in parallel, at high-throughput, and in real time.”

While Curi’s platforms are primarily used to create in vitro models for the preclinical assessment and development of new medicines and not currently being used to develop or manufacture cell therapies, Choi said the firm hopes that “by enabling researchers to collect more predictive, human-relevant data earlier in the drug discovery process, we can help close the gap between preclinical and clinical results.”

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