Tenaya Spins Out of Gladstone With $50M to Fight Heart Disease

Xconomy San Francisco — 

The human body can’t repair the heart damage that leads to heart failure. But new biopharmaceutical company Tenaya Therapeutics aims to find a way by turning research from the nonprofit Gladstone Institutes into regenerative medicine treatments.

Tenaya Therapeutics launched on Wednesday, spinning out of San Francisco-based Gladstone. The company is backed by a $50 million Series A investment from The Column Group. Gladstone says Tenaya will focus on regenerative medicine and discovering new drugs to treat heart failure.

Heart disease kills about 610,000 Americans annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s also an expensive medical condition. The cost of healthcare services, medication, and lost productivity adds up to more than $207 billion annually, the CDC says.

Tenaya formed out of BioFulcrum, a Gladstone entrepreneurial initiative that brings together scientists, nonprofit institutions, and industry. Gladstone says Tenaya will build on the institute’s work in cellular reprogramming, including a research effort to regenerate heart muscle cells in patients who have heart failure.

“Right now, the only possible cure for heart failure is a heart transplant,” Deepak Srivastava, director of Gladstone’s Institute of Cardiovascular Disease and a Tenaya co-founder, said in a prepared statement. “We hope that this new venture will bring us closer to a more scalable cure.”

Photo courtesy of Flickr user photosteve101 under a Creative Commons license.