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Start-ups

Chemogenetics start-up launches with $19 million

by Ryan Cross
September 22, 2018 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 96, ISSUE 38

 

09638-buscon17-neuronscxd.jpg
Credit: Coda Biotherapeutics
Neurons expressing a fluorescent reporter protein from Coda's viral vectors.

The future of pain management may combine genetic engineering and small-molecule drugs. Coda Biotherapeutics, a South San Francisco-based start-up, has raised $19 million in series A financing to develop treatments that use gene therapy to insert engineered ion channels into sensory neurons. The neurons are subsequently turned on or off with a small molecule that binds the channel to numb pain. The technique, part of a field called chemogenetics, is based on research by Coda cofounder and University of Pittsburgh scientist Joseph C. Glorioso III.

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