Obatala Sciences Closes $3 Million Series A Funding

NEW ORLEANS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Obatala Sciences, a New Orleans biotechnology company recognized for speeding up therapies for obesity, diabetes, and cancer across diverse populations, today announced the closing of a $3 million Series A finance round co-led by être Venture Capital and Ochsner Lafayette General Healthcare Innovation Fund II and joined by Benson Capital Partners, Elevate Capital Fund, and The Hackett-Robertson-Tobe Group.

The funding will be used to further the commercialization of its first-of-kind research-enabling products and platform for drug discovery and development. These solutions, provided to pharmaceutical companies, government labs, and researchers, are designed to accelerate the study and prevention of diseases in the fields of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and regenerative medicines.

“Recently the FDA has signaled the need to improve predictivity by reducing the use of animal-derived tissues, while the NIH has been calling for greater diversity in testing. Obatala Sciences’ diverse human-derived products are the exact solution designed for these market directions,” said Jennifer Kuan, partner at être Venture Capital. “Obatala’s solutions enable their customers to significantly reduce failure rates, reduce the time to market, and thereby reduce costs. Combine that with Obatala’s extensive intellectual property portfolio, manufacturing strength, and rapidly growing customer base, and you can see why Obatala is positioned to be a leader in the 3D culture market.”

“We are thrilled to have the support of our investment partners. Their belief in us, and their commitment to support minority-led companies and communities, like New Orleans, is changing the landscape for biotech companies like Obatala Sciences,” said Obatala Sciences CEO Trivia Frazier, Ph.D., MBA. “This funding will accelerate the commercialization of our pipeline products as we work towards our milestones, which include the build-out of our lab at The Beach at UNO, a Research Park District located near the University of New Orleans campus, obtaining our ISO certifications, expanding our North American and international distribution network, and deepening our sales, marketing, and customer support teams to support our growing global customer base.”

The Market Demand

Today, medical research and new drug development are hindered by the dependence on 2D cell culture and animal-derived data which yield high failure rates. In addition, current pre-clinical and clinical drug testing does not include representation across diverse patient populations. Responding to these short-comings, Obatala Sciences has developed a portfolio of patented and patent-pending solutions, including human-derived hydrogels for growing cells in 3D, adult human stem cells from a biobank of diverse populations, media for growing and differentiating cells, and complete tissue chip kits, such as fat-on-chip systems, which are currently available, and pancreas-on-a-chip, which is under development. These kits provide an essential platform for drug discovery and development, and when these tools are combined, they provide researchers with more accurate human-based data across diverse populations.

About Obatala Sciences

Obatala Sciences, a New Orleans biotechnology company, was founded in 2017 to enable diversity in clinical research and speed up the development of better therapies for diseases like obesity, diabetes, and cancer, and advance research in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. The company has an established, robust pipeline of human-derived hydrogels for growing cells in 3D, adult human stem cells from a biobank of diverse populations, media for growing and differentiating cells, and complete tissue chip kits, such as fat-on-a-chip systems, which are currently available, and pancreas-on-a-chip systems, which are under development. These kits provide an essential platform for drug discovery and development. When these tools are combined, Obatala Sciences’ products provide research scientists in pharmaceutical companies, biotech, academia, and government laboratories with more accurate models that mimic the human condition and enable a better understanding of the pathology they are investigating. As a result, Obatala Sciences’ solutions drive improved drug success rates, while significantly decreasing the cost and time to bring therapeutics to market. For more information, visit https://www.obatalasciences.com.

About Ochsner Health

Ochsner Health is an integrated healthcare system with a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate. Celebrating 80 years in 2022, it leads nationally in cancer care, cardiology, neurosciences, liver and heart transplants and pediatrics, among other areas. Ochsner is consistently named both the top hospital and top children’s hospital in Louisiana by U.S. News & World Report. The not-for-profit organization is inspiring healthier lives and stronger communities. Its focus is on preventing diseases and providing patient-centered care that is accessible, affordable, convenient and effective. Ochsner Health pioneers new treatments, deploys emerging technologies and performs groundbreaking research, including over 700 clinical studies. It has more than 36,000 employees and over 4,600 employed and affiliated physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties. It operates 47 hospitals and more than 300 health and urgent care centers across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Gulf South; and its cutting-edge Connected Health digital medicine program is caring for patients beyond its walls. In 2021, Ochsner Health treated more than 1 million people from every state and 75 countries. As Louisiana’s top healthcare educator, Ochsner Health and its partners educate thousands of healthcare professionals annually. To learn more, visit https://www.ochsner.org/.

About être Venture Capital

être is a women-owned venture capital firm dedicated to investing for a better world. The firm seeks out mission-led companies, with a particular focus on underserved entrepreneurs or those with limited access geographically to capital sources. être offers equity and debt financing, pre-seed, seed, and series funding, along with supportive advisory services. To learn more, visit: https://www.etrevc.com.