San Diego Life Sciences Roundup: MedCrypt, LunaDNA, Dynacure & More

Xconomy San Diego — 

Let’s catch up with the latest life sciences news in San Diego.

— Cybersecurity company MedCrypt, which makes software to protect medical devices, raised a $5.3 million Series A funding round.

The company says it will use the new funds to hire new salespeople and engineers and further develop its technology, which medical devices vendors use to secure data traveling between or stored on devices. It also offers real-time monitoring and alerts about potential security threats.

“Patient data privacy has long been a concern, but the healthcare industry is just beginning to address patient safety risks presented by internet-connected healthcare technology,” said MedCrypt’s vice president of operations, Vidya Murthy, in a prepared statement.

The round was led by Section 32, which is based near San Diego. Eniac Ventures and Y Combinator, the accelerator program that MedCrypt went through this winter, also invested. MedCrypt has raised $8.4 million in total.

— LunaPBC, the parent company of genomic and health data platform LunaDNA, added $4.6 million in outside funding to its coffers.

La Jolla, CA-based LunaDNA said in December that the SEC had OK’d its plan to give equity to people who share with the company their health data, such as DNA files from 23andMe and AncestryDNA. The startup, which has raised $7.6 million since its launch, plans to use the fresh cash to accelerate research partnerships, further develop its platform, and add to its marketing team. It will also go toward the integration of Genetic Alliance’s Platform for Engaging Everyone Responsibly with LunaDNA, a tie-up the organizations announced in January.

Investors in the round included ARCH Venture Partners, Bain Capital Ventures, F-Prime Capital, Illumina Ventures, and Osage University Partners.

— French biotech Dynacure is moving an investigational antisense drug it licensed from Carlsbad, CA-based Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IONS) in 2017 into human trials this year.

Dynacure recently announced that UK regulators gave it the go-ahead to start a clinical trial for DYN101, an experimental treatment for centronuclear myopathies, a group of rare genetic muscle disorders. The company says centronuclear myopathies affect between 4,000 and 5,000 people in the European Union, United States, Japan, and Australia. It is developing the medicine in collaboration with Ionis, which is one of its investors.

“With antisense, we believe there is an opportunity to reimagine the treatment of rare muscle-related disorders where no viable therapy exists,” said Dynacure CEO Stephane van Rooijen in a prepared statement.

Last year the company raised $55 million to advance the development of DYN101 and other nucleic-acid based drugs.

— Reflexion Health’s digital therapy platform has received the OK from the FDA for use by patients looking to rehabilitate their trunk and upper extremities.

Reflexion’s Virtual Exercise Rehabilitation Assistant (VERA) was previously cleared only for lower extremity use. The healthtech company’s VERA can measure, analyze, and records patients’ movements at home as they do rehabilitation exercises without the need for patients to wear any monitoring devices.

Reflexion has launched its trunk module, which it says is meant for a range of applications, including patients who are recovering from spine surgery and those with lower back pain. It plans to launch its module for upper extremities later this year.

The company, a sister company to Boston’s The Learning Corp, is owned by Digital Health Corp.

— Poseida Therapeutics says Be The Match BioTherapies, a subsidiary of the National Marrow Donor Program, will help it manage the collection, transport and delivery of cellular material as it develops its autologous CAR-T programs.

The company said that its collaboration with Be The Match BioTherapies will allow it to benefit from the organization’s experience in collection network management and supply chain and logistics, and to expand its network of apheresis centers—the places where material is collected from patients.

Poseida this year plans to start a Phase 2 trial of one its programs, for patients with multiple myeloma, and ask the FDA for permission to test another of its experimental drugs in patients with prostate cancer.