RARE Daily

SOLVE FSHD Invests in Epic Bio to Advance Potentially Curative Therapy

April 18, 2023

Rare Daily Staff

Epic Bio said the venture philanthropy organization SOLVE FSHD has invested in the company to support its EPI-321 program for the treatment of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is one of the most common forms of adult muscular dystrophy, affecting 1 in 8,000 people worldwide. 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,” said Amber Salzman, CEO of Epic Bio.

Epic Bio leverages the power of CRISPR without cutting DNA, 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.

SOLVE FSHD was established by Canadian entrepreneur Chip Wilson with $100 million to catalyze innovation and accelerate key research in finding a cure for FSHD by 2027.

“I am hopeful that Epic Bio’s research will lead to breakthroughs in the treatment of FSHD and, ultimately, a cure,” said Chip Wilson, founder and chairman of the board of SOLVE FSHD. “We need to keep pushing the boundaries of science and technology to find solutions for those of us living with this disease.”

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