Bionaut Labs Closes $43M in Series B Led by Khosla Ventures to Advance First-in-Class Micro-Robotic Technology and Remove Barriers to Treat Rare and Debilitating Diseases
Bionaut Labs, the company that uses microscale robots to revolutionize the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) diseases and disorders, today announced $43.2M in a Series B round of financing led by Khosla Ventures, bringing the company's total financing raised to date to $63.2 million. Also participating in the round are new investors Deep Insight, OurCrowd, PSPRS, Sixty Degree Capital, Dolby Family Ventures, GISEV Family Ventures, What if Ventures, Tintah Grace and Gaingels, along with all existing investors - Upfront Ventures, BOLD Capital Partners, Revolution VC, and Compound.
Many diseases of the brain and central nervous system are hard to treat because it is difficult to deliver therapeutics beyond the blood-brain barrier and reach deep locations in the midbrain with precision. Through magnetic propulsion, Bionauts™ can navigate the depths of the human body to deliver drugs locally, generating efficacy and avoiding side effects and toxicity from systemically delivered drugs. By reaching the midbrain safely through novel routes, Bionaut Labs aims to develop solutions to treat the most debilitating conditions including Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, malignant glioma and hydrocephalus.
Funds will be used to advance clinical development of the company's lead programs against malignant glioma brain tumors and Dandy-Walker Syndrome (a rare pediatric neurological disorder). Funds will also support further development of its proprietary Bionaut™ treatment platform, allowing future expansion of clinical targets and progression through Bionaut's two accelerated FDA designations. Bionaut Labs will release ajor pre-clinical data packages from IDE and IND enabling studies in 2023, with the goal of initiating human clinical trials in 2024.
"There has been a dearth of innovation around treatments for conditions that cause tremendous suffering, in large part because past failures have discouraged even the best of researchers," said Michael Shpigelmacher, co-founder and CEO, Bionaut Labs. "Bionaut Labs remains committed to finding new ways to treat these devastating diseases, which are long overdue for a breakthrough."
Bionaut Labs is co-founded by two robotics entrepreneurs, Michael Shpigelmacher and Aviad Maizels, who previously co-founded PrimeSense, the company that developed the facial recognition tech behind iPhone's FaceID (sold to Apple in 2013 for approximately $400M). Its leadership and medical team consists of experts across robotics, neuroscience, biology and drug development.
"We are extremely excited about the transformative potential Bionaut presents in treating debilitating neurological disorders," said Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures. "Anatomically precise treatment will make traditionally-used methods seem archaic, and Bionaut is at the forefront of this movement."
"Bionaut Labs tackles a complex pharmaceutical problem which many companies have failed to address in the past," said Giammaria Giuliani, director of the GISEV Family Office. "As pioneers of micro-robotics for CNS treatment, the company enjoys a strong first-mover advantage and carries great promise."
As neurodegeneration continues to grow in prevalence in the aging global population, Bionaut Labs offers unprecedented therapeutic access to the brain and other hard-to-reach locations in the body, diagnosing and treating diseases that were previously unreachable. Bionaut Labs will transform the way the biopharmaceutical industry develops treatments by offering a mechanism to engineer the therapeutic index for optimal efficacy and safety.
About Bionaut Labs
Bionaut Labs is a biotech company pioneering precision micro-technology with the deployment of microscale robots (Bionauts™), to remove the barriers of localized treatment and detection of diseases. Magnetic propulsion-controlled Bionauts navigate to deep locations in the human body and brain safely and precisely through non-linear 3D trajectories, making Bionaut Labs the first to access the midbrain through previously inaccessible anatomical routes. Bionauts can perform localized treatment, detection and precise medical procedures to deliver outcomes that were previously unattainable. The FDA has granted Bionaut Labs a Humanitarian Use Device designation for BNL-201, a micro-robot design to treat Dandy Walker Malformation, and an Orphan Drug Designation for BNL 101, a drug-device combination for treatment of malignant glioma. Led by a world-class team of medical, engineering, and drug development experts, Bionaut Labs' is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with additional R&D sites in Israel and at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. For more information, please visit www.bionautlabs.com.
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