Tech Coast Angels (TCA) and MatriSys Bioscience (MatriSys Bio) today announced the completion of their $1.5 million convertible note financing round. MatriSys is developing and commercializing a novel class of live biologic therapeutics targeting major skin and dermatologic conditions that affect more than 230 million people worldwide. Recent pioneering advances in skin microbiome research, led by Professor Richard Gallo of UCSD, have resulted in a new understanding of the beneficial relationships that exist between skin microbes and health. By building on these discoveries, MatriSys is producing live biological therapeutics (LBTs) that rebalance the normal mix of bacterial species present on the skin by expanding the beneficial ‘good’ microbes and selectively removing the damaging or pathogenic species – “bad bugs.”
MatriSys sees commercialization paths for its intellectual property in topical dermatology therapeutics, cosmetics, and skin care. The company’s lead live biologic therapeutic is currently in Phase I/II clinical trials targeting atopic dermatitis (commonly referred to as AD or eczema) patients.
“In the past, there have been very few options for a patient suffering from AD,” said Mark S. Wilson, CEO of MatriSys. “The choices were to take an antibacterial therapy that removed all the bacteria– both good and bad– from the skin, or to take something that suppresses the patient’s immune system. Neither of these is particularly good as depletion of good bacteria can create an environment where pathogens can multiply, causing more imbalance and infection. What our technology does is selectively remove the bad bugs by application of ‘good bugs’ to re-balance the skin condition.”
“Our investment in MatriSys is a terrific example of TCA’s focus to support local, exceptional early-stage companies that are leveraging new technology to confront key health concerns,” said Jeff Friedman, MD, PhD, deal lead and head of TCA’s life sciences committee. “MatriSys’ core technology is derived from cutting edge research from Dr. Richard Gallo’s group at UCSD. To move from the lab to clinical testing so rapidly indicates this is a highly promising technology. TCA is excited to support development of novel live biologic therapeutics. We think the concept of using good bugs to fight bad bugs will positively impact a lot of patients.”
Friedman will join the board of MatriSys and will help the company with business development, counsel, and assist with subsequent financing. This round of funding will be used to support and accelerate clinical trials for atopic dermatitis and continue preclinical work to support MatriSys’ growing pipeline of live biologic therapeutics for additional clinical indications.
“We are excited to move forward with our clinical trials and the funding round will allow us to continue our work in this breakthrough technology,” concluded Wilson.