Celsius Therapeutics: Bringing Further Precision to Precision Medicine — The Promise of Single-Cell Sequencing
Last week, Celsius Therapeutics announced an additional $83M USD in financing and we are excited to be a part of this syndicate. Amplitude decided to support the company to advance its lead clinical candidate through early-stage clinical trials and continue to improve on its world-leading SCOPE (Single Cell Observations for Precision Effect) platform.
The company was founded on the promise of leveraging single-cell genomics to identify novel targets and diagnostic markers. Since its inception, Celsius has built the world’s largest database of single-cell genomic information from human tissue samples across a number of disease types. To process this volume of data, Celsius has built proprietary computational capabilities to query the data for actionable insights that we believe will enable them to discover precision therapies with a transformative impact on the lives of patients. Single-cell genomics will evolve into an indispensable tool in precision medicine driving the current multi-omics era — moving from the patient to single-cell level to understand disease biology from multiple dimensions — and we are excited to partner with Celsius to translate these insights into novel therapies.
Why is single cell genomics important?
A typical human cell consists of 2 x 3.3 billion base pairs of DNA and 600 million bases of mRNA. Traditionally when analyzing tissue samples, millions of cells are used in sequencing the DNA or RNA using traditional methods like Sanger sequencing or Illumina sequencing. However, by using deep sequencing of DNA and RNA from a single cell, cellular functions can be investigated extensively. This allows scientists to better understand the genetic makeup and how a cell functions normally in its microenvironment and in different disease states.
Single-cell genomics has been notoriously difficult as the small amount of starting materials from a single cell makes degradation, sample loss and contamination reduces the quality of sequencing data. Additionally, due to the small levels of starting material used, heavy amplification is often needed during sample preparation of single-cell sequencing, resulting in uneven coverage, noise, and inaccurate quantification of sequencing data.
How is Celsius solving the problem:
Celsius has spent years refining its single-cell sequencing process and building one of the world’s largest databases of longitudinal, clinically annotated patient samples across autoimmunity and cancer. They’ve invested significant money and time to develop and industrialize unique biological methods and algorithms to perform single cell sequencing on these samples, which are used to identify targets directly implicated in the disease, as well as specific patient subsets. These insights are then fed back into their AI system and the iterative process refines biology insights within and across diseases as their dataset grows.
Celsius is developing its lead candidate, CEL383, an anti-TREM-1 antibody, for the treatment of IBD. TREM-1 was identified through ML-enabled analysis of hundreds of clinical samples via the company’s SCOPE platform. Through this approach, Celsius was able to identify and characterize subsets of a diseased cell type that drives resistance to anti-TNF therapies, the mainstay of IBD therapy. The company is also developing two ongoing drug discovery programs in oncology, both directed at targets identified through analysis of hundreds of solid tumour samples from patients via their SCOPE platform.
See below for a great summary video from the Canadian CEO, Tariq Kassum
Why we’re excited:
Celsius is a great fit with Amplitude’s vision of creating, building, and growing world-class precision medicine companies that aim to make a meaningful difference in patients’ lives. With a Canadian CEO leading the company and having a CSO who’s helping build out the Toronto antibody ecosystem, we’re excited to partner with this team and company to help discover novel medicines for patients. Led by an exceptional management team, one of the world’s largest single-cell datasets, unique patient insights, and a great syndicate of investors, we are thrilled to see Celsius progress as they bring the power of single-cell genomics to developing precision medicines for patients.
About Amplitude Ventures
Amplitude Ventures deploys a growth model that has successfully been used to build Canadian companies with world-class management teams and scale companies to breakout potential. Amplitude, with offices in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, launched its first private capital fund in November 2019, a $200-million fund that applies a proven, evidence-based approach to investing in leading Canadian precision medicine companies.
About Celsius Therapeutics
Celsius Therapeutics is charting a new course of target and drug discovery by combining a deeply curated collection of clinically annotated human tissue samples, single-cell RNA sequencing, and complex algorithms to discover precision therapies with a transformative impact on the lives of patients with autoimmune diseases and cancer. Celsius is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit www.celsiustx.com, or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Original source here.