Kanvas Biosciences, the leader in microbiome mapping technology, announced today a $12M Pre-Series A funding round. The investment will be used to further advance the company’s proprietary platform technology, which promises to revolutionize drug development for microbiome-associated diseases. The round was led by DCVC with participation from Lions Capital LLC, Cooke LLC, Uncommon Denominator, and Triple Impact Capital. As part of the investment round, Jason Pontin, partner at DCVC, will join the company’s board of directors.
The interactions between the microbiome and its host are critical to human health. The current gold standard for analyzing these interactions is to extract a sample, blend it, and sequence the genetic material in the sample. This strategy enables broad inferences about the composition of the sample, but little more, as information regarding biospatial localization and cellular function is lost in the process.To overcome this challenge, Kanvas has developed a revolutionary technology platform that enables highly multiplexed spatial profiling of microbial species. The platform not only determines the identity and function of these microbes, but also maps the host’s corresponding local response – all executed within a single, comprehensive assay.
With Kanvas’ proprietary technology, based on research first published in Nature by the company’s founders, researchers can profile both the microbiome and the host cells with sub-cellular resolution to provide critical context and unparalleled insight into complex host-microbe interactions. This platform can be applied to the discovery and development of novel, live biotherapeutic products, the identification of disease-associated microbes for diagnostics, and leveraging the microbiome to improve therapeutic responses.
“Our technology takes the gastrointestinal tract and the microbiome from black box to transparent and measurable terrain,” says Kanvas Biosciences co-founder and CEO Matthew Cheng, MD. “We are thrilled to drive forward the development of life-saving treatments for some of the world’s most common conditions.” While the microbiome has long been associated with inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer, emerging data indicate its intimate connection to a range of conditions beyond the gastrointestinal tract, including cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and response to cancer immunotherapy treatments.
The raised capital will be used towards expanding Kanvas’ proprietary single-cell spatial transcriptomics platform and launching biological and R&D discovery platforms. To this end, Kanvas has already established partnerships with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
“This breakthrough technology empowers researchers to explore microbial communities in unprecedented ways, with profound implications for the health and biomedical industries. It fundamentally transforms our understanding of the human microbiome, allowing us to consider it as a distinct and druggable organ, opening uncharted territories in medicine,” said Jason Pontin of DCVC.
About Kanvas Biosciences
Kanvas Biosciences is building the world’s first microbiome drug screening and drug discovery platform to accelerate live biotherapeutic product (LBP) development. Leveraging its unparalleled ability to spatially map the microbiome and profile host-gene expression at single-cell resolution, the company is constructing the most comprehensive and robust microbiome data resource for future drug development. Kanvas Biosciences’ technology was initially developed at Cornell University and exclusively licensed. The company’s notable investors include DCVC, Lions Capital LLC, Cooke LLC, Uncommon Denominator, and Triple Impact Capital. The company is headquartered in Monmouth Junction, NJ.