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Ligandal

Ligandal

Nanomedicine company developing vaccines and therapies with cell-specific targeting.

Ligandal is a nanomedicine company using gene editing tools such as CRISPR and cell-specific targeting molecules or ligands. CEO and Founder Andre Watson is an inventor on 43 issued or pending patents for nucleic acid and protein delivery with cell-specific targeting molecules. Watson aims to enable biological systems to be programmed at will to treat disease and extend lifespan.

Ligandal’s approach for rapid vaccine prototyping and scalable vaccine development is being applied to developing a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The company designed a fully synthetic scaffold that mimics the epitopes which are bound by T-cell receptors and antibodies. The scaffold can be custom-tailored to new mutant forms of the virus. For therapeutic agents, the scaffold can serve as a targeting ligand that mimics viral entry into target diseased cells and tissues. The “mini viral” scaffolds can be synthesized in hours and rapidly scaled to 100 kg or more, and the company says that their process of peptide synthesis is much less expensive than for mRNA-based vaccines or therapies.

Ligandal is working with government resources and private groups to use their technology for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and therapeutic development. Ligandal’s SARS-CoV-2 vaccine design includes immune-epitopic regions for T cell receptor MHC-1 and MHC-2 loading, antibody binding and ACE2 receptor binding regions in vaccine scaffolds of less than 70 amino acids. The scaffolds can serve as competitive inhibitors for ACE2 binding by the virus and are also designed to trigger the immune system to learn to fight the SAR-CoV-2 virus.

Ligandal has results which show they are able to predict binding pockets, using computer modeling and deep learning approaches, that are consistent with Cryo-EM and other high-resolution structural data. The company believes their peptide scaffold approach can be quickly tailored to new applications or mutated viral epitopic regions within days or weeks. Therapeutic agents such as silencing RNAs, CRISPR molecules and small molecule agents can be targeting to virally-infected cells using with their approach.

Timeline

February 1, 2019
Ligandal raises a $1,800,000 seed round.
October 1, 2017
Ligandal raises a $2,000,000 seed round from Social Capital and Social Impact Capital.
August 9, 2016
Ligandal raises a $330,000 angel round from Kauffman Fellows Program and Techammer.
August 6, 2015
Ligandal raises a $200,000 angel round.
January 1, 2015
Ligandal raises a $250,000 angel round.

Funding rounds

Funding round
Funding type
Funding round amount (USD)
Funding round date
Investment
Ligandal Angel round, August 2015
200,000
August 6, 2015
6 Results
Results per page:
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People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Adam Kolom

Investor

Alex Pesch

Investor

Alexander Izvorski

Investor

Andre Watson

Founder

Anthony Davis

Investor

Ayan Sircar

Investor

Bruno A. L. Ahualli

Investor

Calvin Chin

Investor

Christian Foster

Founder

Christine Peterson

Advisor

D.A. Wallach

Investor

D.A. Wallach

Advisor

Dr. Peter Sandor Gardos

Investor

Eric Anschutz

Investor

Esther Dyson

Investor

Halle Tecco

Investor

James Jarrett

Investor

Jason Camm

Advisor

Jason Camm

Investor

Jason Dorsett

Investor

Jay Zaveri

Investor

Jeff Karp

Advisor

Jeremy Tunnell

Investor

Jeremy Yap

Investor

Joey Krug

Investor

Page 1 of 3

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

Gene Editing Startups Fabricate Industrial-Grade CRISPR Tools

Gail Dutton

Journal

June 2019

Ligandal Proposes 'Antidote' to COVID-19 Using Robot-like Peptide Scaffolds

Gail Dutton

Web

April 16, 2020

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

References

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