Investment will advance Epic’s lead program, EPI-321, toward clinic in 2024
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — April 18, 2023 — Epic Bio, a biotechnology company developing therapies to modulate gene expression using compact, non-cutting dCas proteins, today announced an investment by SOLVE FSHD, a venture philanthropic organization, to support Epic Bio’s program EPI-321 for the treatment of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD).
Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy is one of the most common forms of adult muscular dystrophy, affecting 1 in 8,000 people worldwide1,2. Symptoms usually start before age 20 and may lead to patients being wheelchair-bound by age 50. There are no treatment options for FSHD, and patients manage symptoms through the use of assistive devices, physical therapy, and orthopedics.
“We are immensely grateful for the support of SOLVE FSHD for our work to develop a first-of-its-kind approach to treat FSHD by modulating gene activity. Their investment represents not just a financial contribution but also a validation of our mission and our team’s dedication to curing this debilitating disease. With this investment, we are poised to partner closely with SOLVE FSHD and make meaningful strides in our pursuit to improve the lives of those affected by FSHD,” said Amber Salzman, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Epic Bio.
“We are glad to see Epic Bio’s prioritization of FSHD as their lead indication, given the urgent need for a treatment for this disease. We’ve been impressed by the vast capabilities of their Gene Expression Modulation System (GEMS), which offers the potential to suppress the pathological epigenomic events underlying FSHD. We are excited to be working with the Epic Bio team in bringing this potentially transformative treatment forward for patients,” said Eva Chin, Ph.D., executive director of SOLVE FSHD.
“I am hopeful that Epic Bio’s research will lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of FSHD and, ultimately, a cure. We need to keep pushing the boundaries of science and technology to find solutions for those of us living with this disease,” added Chip Wilson, founder and chairman of the Board of SOLVE FSHD.
About SOLVE FSHD
SOLVE FSHD is a venture philanthropic organization established to catalyze innovation and accelerate key research in finding a cure for FSHD. Established by renowned Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist, Chip Wilson, widely known as the founder and part owner of various technical apparel companies including lululemon and Amer Sports, which holds brands such as Arc’teryx, Salomon and Wilson Sports.
Chip has committed $100 million to kick-start funding into projects that support the organization’s mission to find a cure for FSHD by 2027. The goal of SOLVE FSHD is to find a solution that can slow down or stop muscle degeneration, increase muscle regeneration and strength, and improve the quality of life for those living with FSHD. If you are interested in working with SOLVE FSHD, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have FSHD and want to find out about clinical trials or be included in the FSHD registry, please see Solve FSHD’s website – https://solvefshd.com/
About Epic Bio
Epic Bio is a leading epigenome engineering company, leveraging the power of CRISPR without cutting DNA. The company is using its proprietary Gene Expression Modulation System (GEMS) to develop therapies. Through the company’s library of the most compact Cas DNA-binding proteins to work on human cells, the company is developing in vivo therapies with delivery via a single AAV vector. Epic Bio has an initial focus on Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy (FSHD) and is conducting additional research to address Antitrypsin Deficiency (A1AD), Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (HeFH), as well as other indications. The company is financially backed by Horizons Ventures and other leading investors. Visit www.epic-bio.com for more information or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
1 Cohen J, et al. Trends Mol Med. 2021 Feb; 27(2):123-137
2 Schatzl T, et al. Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2021 Mar; 16(129)
Shawn M. Cox
Manager, Investor Relations, and Corporate Communications
Ten Bridge Communications