HAYA Therapeutics announces funding from the Swiss Innovation Agency supporting research collaborations for long non-coding RNA therapies


LAUSANNE, Switzerland & SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–HAYA Therapeutics, SA, a company that develops precision medicines targeting tissue- and cell-specific long non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), today announced that Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency, supports two collaborative research projects between HAYA and the University of Bern, Bern University Hospitals and Lausanne University Hospitals. Innosuisse is financing 50% of the total cost of the project, which amounts to approximately 3.1 million francs (3.3 million dollars).

The first project will advance the lead program of HAYA, an antisense oligonucleotide targeting lncRNA Wisper, a cardiac tissue-enriched engine of cardiac fibrosis. In collaboration with the Department of Biomedical Research of the University of Bern and the Department of Cardiology of the University Hospital of Bern (Inselspital), the two-year project will focus on dosage studies, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of this first-class therapeutic product. target for the potential treatment of hypertrophic non-obstructive cardiomyopathy. The study also includes state-of-the-art cardiac MRI readings to provide evidence of the efficacy and translatability of the therapeutic approach and advance it to the clinic and patients in need.

“The entire HAYA team is extremely excited to see our lead antisense compound targeting Wisper being evaluated in a translationally relevant preclinical model of heart failure,” said Daniel Blessing, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Technical Director of HAYA Therapeutics. “The support of Innosuisse was decisive in enabling this study and this collaboration with the University and the Inselspital Bern.”

“As a pioneer in the lncRNA field, HAYA has made significant progress in the development of a novel lncRNA-targeted therapy for difficult-to-treat heart disease,” said Dr. Robert Rieben, Professor at the University of Bern. “With a background in preclinical cardiovascular research, we are thrilled to work with HAYA and support their efforts to bring this therapy to patients who desperately need it.”

HAYA’s second project will aim to develop a next-generation oncology therapy targeting cancer-associated fibroblasts for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma. Through a partnership with the Lausanne University Hospital Center (CHUV), collaborators will use HAYA’s proprietary drug discovery engine, DiscoverHAYAMTto identify oncology-associated fibroblast-specific lncRNAs for the development of precision RNA-targeted therapy.

“Since its launch, HAYA has worked diligently to bring our lead antisense candidate targeting lncRNA for the treatment of heart failure closer to clinical trials. At the same time, we conducted studies using our innovative discovery engine to identify novel lncRNA targets outside of cardiomyopathy,” said Samir Ounzain, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of HAYA Therapeutics . “Thanks to this project funding from Innosuisse, we can continue our efforts in the field of heart disease and use our technology beyond cardiology in cancer. This will open huge opportunities in oncology-based lncRNA target discovery.

About HAYA Therapeutics

HAYA Therapeutics is a precision therapeutics company that discovers and develops innovative tissue and cell-selective genomic drugs for fibrotic diseases and other serious health conditions associated with aging, including cancer. The company’s discovery engine focuses on long non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) in the “dark matter” of the human genome – key tissue and cell-specific factors in fibrosis and other disease processes – to identify new targets and drug candidates with the potential for greater efficacy and safety than existing treatments. HAYA’s lead therapeutic candidate is an antisense molecule targeting Wisper, a heart-enriched fibrosis prime mover, which has been shown in preclinical testing to arrest and potentially reverse the fibrotic processes underlying heart failure. The company is also developing a pipeline of lncRNA-targeting candidates for the tissue-specific treatment of fibrotic diseases in other tissues, including lung, kidney, liver and the microenvironment of solid tumor cancers. Based in the Biopôle Life Science Park in Lausanne, Switzerland, with laboratory facilities at JLABS @ San Diego, HAYA is led by a team of world-class experts in lncRNA biology and fibrotic diseases, and is backed by a strong consortium of investors. For more information about the company, please visit our website at www.hayatx.com. follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Innosuisse

Innosuisse is the Swiss Innovation Agency. Its mission is to promote science-based innovation for the benefit of the economy and society in Switzerland. The core of Innosuisse’s funding is the support of innovation projects: innovative organizations such as companies and start-ups develop new services and products together with universities and research institutes.



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