BETHESDA, Md. — The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation today announced its investment of $6 million in Carbon Biosciences to support the company‘s preclinical research into an innovative gene therapy approach for cystic fibrosis. Carbon Biosciences is the first company to publicly launch from the Foundation’s multi-million-dollar collaboration with Longwood Fund, an early stage venture capital firm creating and investing in science-based companies that develop novel solutions to treat important unmet medical needs, and is part of the Foundation’s Path to a Cure initiative.
Carbon Biosciences began its scientific work in May at the CF Foundation Therapeutics Lab in Lexington, Mass., marking the first time the Foundation is hosting scientists from a startup company. As the Foundation expands its laboratory footprint later this summer, it will add space dedicated to incubating new companies focusing on CF research.
“Being able to support Carbon Biosciences in its early stage research both financially and at our lab is an incredible step in evolving our investment strategy to attract the best science and technology to the CF space,” said Martin Mense, PhD, senior vice president of drug discovery at the Foundation and head of the CF Foundation Therapeutics Lab. “Their unique scientific approach combined with our ability to help support their understanding of the challenges specific to CF biology could prove to be a giant step toward addressing the unmet need of innovative treatments in cystic fibrosis. It is our hope that they are the first of many companies we are able to incubate in the future.”
Carbon Biosciences aims to deliver a functional cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene directly into the lung cells of people with cystic fibrosis using a cutting-edge approach that has the potential to provide a treatment for all people living with CF, regardless of mutation. The hope is that this novel delivery method would circumvent the lungs’ immune response, resulting in successful delivery of a functioning CFTR gene while also allowing redosing. Mense provided an overview of this approach during Plenary 1 of 2021’s North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference.
To learn more about the science of genetic therapies for CF, visit cff.org.
Our Investment Approach
The Foundation's venture philanthropy model provides companies early stage funding to develop breakthrough treatments for adults and children with cystic fibrosis. The approach has super-charged CF drug discovery and development by de-risking and accelerating new technologies in CF, resulting in more than 16 approved therapies — including four treatments for the underlying cause of CF.
Today, the Foundation continues to evolve its venture philanthropy approach and invest more aggressively than ever before to support the development of the next generation of transformative therapies to help people with CF live their longest, healthiest lives possible. This approach includes incubating early stage research at the CF Foundation Therapeutics Lab, as well as collaborating with the University of California, Berkeley’s Bakar Labs on a Golden Ticket Competition.
To learn more about the Foundation’s funding under its Path to a Cure initiative, visit cff.org.
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world's leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Foundation funds more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease. The CF Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. For more information, visit cff.org.