BERKELEY, Calif. – ResVita Bio, a cellular therapies startup, announces that the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) has awarded ResVita Bio a $250,000 Phase 1 SBIR grant to treat Netherton Syndrome, a chronic and life-threatening genetic skin disease.
“Receiving the SBIR award from the NIH on the heels of the FDA approving our lead candidate RVB-001 for the Rare Pediatric Designation is further proof of our vision to treat inflammatory skin diseases with topical cellular therapies,” said Dr. Amin Zargar, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of ResVita Bio. “The NIH SBIR not only provides us with resources, but further enhances our platform to collaborate with leading academics and medical professionals to finally develop a solution to this devastating lifelong disease with few treatment options that offer limited efficacy.”
Co-founder Dr. Jay Keasling, a UC Berkeley professor and leading innovator in synthetic biology, said, “This is the type of cutting-edge advancement needed in this space. On-site delivery of therapeutic proteins is a paradigm-shifting therapy, and I am excited to see the results translate to meaningful improvement in the lives of patients afflicted with damaging skin diseases.”
About Netherton Syndrome:
Netherton Syndrome is a skin disorder characterized by chronic skin inflammation, pruritis, and atopic manifestations. Infections and dehydration are common and result in high post-natal mortality, and these disease manifestations often persist throughout a patient’s life. The causative mutations of NS are within the SPINK5 gene, which encodes the serine protease inhibitor LEKTI. These mutations can result in uncontrolled protease activity, leading to premature exfoliation of the outermost layers of the skin.
A genetically engineered probiotic that is topically applied to temporarily colonize the skin and continuously release LEKTI, thereby inhibiting proteolysis and restoring the integrity of the epidermal barrier.
About ResVita Bio:
ResVita Bio seeks to restore and maintain the vitality of the skin by topical application of cellular therapies. Through synthetic biology, we are developing a safe and versatile skin probiotic platform to genetically program living cells to repair disrupted skin, remove harmful bacteria, and soothe inflammation in inflammatory skin diseases including Netherton Syndrome, atopic dermatitis, chronic wound infection, and psoriasis.