Slater Invests in XM Therapeutics from Brown University

Biotech Targeting Heart Failure and Pulmonary Fibrosis Comes out of Stealth

Providence, R.I. – October 10, 2023 – XM Therapeutics today announced an additional influx of capital as the company emerges from stealth. The seed round is led by Slater Technology Fund which has invested $375,000 in XM Therapeutics to date.

XM Therapeutics is developing a novel family of biologics intended to repair the abnormal healing process in chronic diseases by intervening in the Extracellular Matrix (ECM), the complex protein scaffolding that enables cells to form and maintain tissues and organs.

“Our understanding of the role that the ECM plays in tissue has advanced from a purely structural role into a more nuanced bi-directional communication medium that is involved in vital processes like tissue repair and aging, says Thorne Sparkman, Managing Director at Slater Technology Fund. “Can we build on that knowledge and intervene medically with specially engineered matrices? We supported XM Therapeutic’s multi-disciplinary team to unlock that potential. We’re excited to be reinvesting as the company starts sharing its initial results.”

“Slater Technology’s backing has been crucial to our development,” says Frank Ahmann, Co-founder, President, and CEO at XM Therapeutics. “Within months, in collaboration with Brown University, our team has established a production platform and carried out proof of principle testing. Recent data confirms the ability of our products to change the composition of the dysfunctional ECM to reduce scar size and improve muscle contractility in a preclinical heart model. Proteomic profiling is yielding new insights into the mechanisms at work between cells and the ECM in the healing process that follows tissue injury.”

This new round of funding will be used to scale XM Therapeutic’s platform while carrying out pre-clinical studies and cell-based assays for specific diseases. Specifically, the areas that the company will focus on are:

  1. Building the proprietary production platform for human ECM particles to design, test, and validate forms for different tissues and diseases
  2. Partnering with pharmaceutical companies to take these therapeutics to market through clinical trials and regulatory approval

The body’s extracellular matrix (ECM) is made up of thousands of proteins and scaffolds that enable cells to create, grow, and repair all tissues and organs throughout life. In people with chronic diseases, though, the ECM structure changes, and the normal healing or repair process breaks down leading to chronic inflammation, scarring (fibrosis) and poor oxygen supply (hypoxia). This process is complex and has not been treated effectively in many conditions such as Heart Failure, Kidney Failure, and Chronic Occlusive Pulmonary Disease.

Jeffrey Morgan, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Brown, developed a technology that makes human ECM particles in the lab to repair diseased tissues in organs. These designed ECM particles can stop the process that creates fibrosis, inflammation, and hypoxia. Morgan worked with Frank Sellke, MD, Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Rhode Island Hospital and professor of medicine at Brown, who provided significant insights about heart disease and regenerative approaches in myocardial infarction and heart failure. XM Therapeutics was formed with Ahmann at the helm to further develop this treatment.

XM Therapeutics is initially focusing on cardiovascular and respiratory indications, targeting disorders with serious clinical need: myocarditis, heart failure, and pulmonary fibrosis. Moving forward, XM’s technology could address many chronic diseases including glaucoma, osteoarthritis, COPD, NASH, kidney failure, and cancer-induced tumors.

About XM Therapeutics: XM Therapeutics is a Rhode Island-based biotech company that spun out of Brown University in 2022 to harness the healing power of the human body’s Extracellular Matrix (ECM) to treat chronic diseases. The ECM – the scaffolding material that organizes cells into tissues and organs – causes inflammation, fibrosis and ischemia in chronic disease. XM Therapeutic’s platform technology designs injectable ECM Particles sourced from human 3D cell cultures to improve tissue function and enable organ repair.

About Slater Technology Fund: The Slater Technology Fund is an evergreen not-for-profit seed fund supporting new venture development in Rhode Island. More than two decades ago, Slater launched a platform for seed-stage investing in Rhode Island; today, the organization remains the most active seed-stage investor in the state. Slater has invested in hundreds of technology ventures in the region, achieving multiple exits while also generating economic impact returns in the form of high-wage jobs.

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For more information, contact:
Elise Sherman Plugis
Slater Technology Fund

Pete Saladino
Slater Technology Fund