Fauna Bio leverages animal genomics, hibernation biology to target human diseases

June 21, 2022

Biotech company Fauna Bio has a very different approach to the discovery of novel therapeutics. Instead of just relying on human gene targets, which can be sparse and difficult to find, the startup is leveraging animal genomics and hibernation biology to develop novel translational therapeutics for disease prevention and reduce the impact of age-related diseases in humans.

Fauna Bio co-founder and CEO Ashley Zehnder, who has a PhD in cancer biology and started her career as a clinical veterinarian, spoke with ScienceBoard.net at the 2022 Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International Convention about the intersection of animal genomics, hibernation biology, and human diseases.

"This is shared physiology across species, but biomedical research largely only considers the human condition and not what we can learn from how these diseases present across species," Zehnder said.

Zehnder pointed out that hibernation requires mechanisms of self-healing and tissue repair to endure long periods of time in freezing temperatures without food. For example, she noted that 13-lined ground squirrels hibernate for about six months and have the remarkable ability to endure physiological events that replicate many aspects of heart attacks and strokes in humans.

At BIO 2022, Fauna Bio announced the release of Centaur, a knowledge graph that the company contends is the first of its kind to visualize the intersection between animal gene expression data and human diseases in one comprehensive map. The goal with Centaur is to more rapidly identify human disease indications and targets to generate new therapeutic solutions for some of the most serious human diseases.

Watch the video below to learn more.


Using the power of plants to develop novel biopharmaceuticals
Biologics manufacturing company iBio is using plants as bioreactors to develop and manufacture therapeutics and vaccines. ScienceBoard.net spoke...
Overcoming the challenges of off-the-shelf allogeneic cell therapies
Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy has emerged as one of the major breakthroughs in cancer immunotherapy in the last decade. In a video interview...
Apeiron Biologics' spinout invIOs targets solid tumors with novel cell therapy platform
Apeiron Biologics' spinout invIOs has a proprietary cell therapy platform for the modulation of intracellular immuno-oncology targets that enables rapid...
Struggle to include women in clinical trials continues despite gains
Though female participation in clinical trials has been steadily improving over the years, most of the women enrolled in trials are white and not members...
Patient advocacy organizations look to partner with pharma companies
Patient advocacy organizations are looking to partner with pharmaceutical companies, offering resources and expertise to maximize the impact and efficiency...
How to develop a sustainable portfolio for cell, gene therapy platforms
Michael Retterath, a Biotechnology Innovation Organization International Convention 2022 panelist and chief business officer at Spark Therapeutics, spoke...
Biotech industry execs, not scientists, remain male-dominated
A panel at the 2022 Biotechnology Innovation Organization International Convention will explore how to close the gender gap in the biotech industry and...
The ‘voice of the patient’ needs to be heard in clinical trials: study
Patient recruitment and retention are among the biggest challenges facing clinical research, particularly in studies targeting rare diseases that have...
New era of non-viral DNA-delivered gene therapy seen emerging
Advancements in nucleic acid-encoded therapeutics over the past decade have sparked the emergence of a new era in non-viral DNA-delivered gene therapy,...
Biotech innovator recounts decades-long journey to create drug discovery technology
Dr. Stan Crooke, PhD, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of RNA therapy company Ionis Pharmaceuticals, pioneered development of the antisense...
Biotech industry to gather at BIO International Convention in San Diego
More than 11,000 attendees from around the globe will be in San Diego, June 13-16, for the 2022 Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) International...

Copyright © 2022 scienceboard.net

Last Updated 7/20/2022 2:28:15 PM