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Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Entrepreneurship Clinic Helps Biotech Company Secure Series A Financing
Students in the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Clinic at Yale Law School provided critical support in closing a $6.6 million round of Series A financing to a biotechnology company pioneering the application of machine-enabled science towards understanding and controlling biology.
Trailhead Biosystems, Inc. aims to rapidly develop the capability of creating specialized human cells at high purity for regenerative medicine and therapeutic purposes at an industrial scale, thereby addressing current industry needs for highly specialized cells used in drug discovery and modeling of human diseases. Through strategic partnerships, the cells provided by the company will be used to address multiple areas of clinical need. The company currently develops products that target Type 1 diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart failure, and blood disorders, among others.
“The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Clinic at Yale Law School was founded as a teaching clinic to work with highly innovative ventures in need of sophisticated legal and transactional advice. We were delighted to take on Trailhead Biosystems as a client and to support the company through this financing,” said Sven Riethmueller, Clinical Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School and the inaugural Director of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Clinic.
A Clinic team of Yale Law students took the lead in advising Trailhead on the Series A financing, including drafting the transaction agreements, under the supervision of Professor Riethmueller.
“With Professor Riethmueller’s leadership, our team was able to see a financing in action and gain hands-on transactional experience that is generally not available for most law students,” said Sarah Bernardo ’21. “Working for such a groundbreaking biotechnology company was also an incredible honor that gave us the opportunity to engage with complex legal issues.”
“This Series A financing round is a great vote of confidence in our cutting-edge technology and will allow the company to progress its programs to benefit patients,” said Magnus Persson, M.D., Ph.D., a seasoned biotech entrepreneur and Chairman of Trailhead Biosystems. “We are excited to realize our future objective of becoming a key provider of therapeutic human cells to the regenerative medicine industry.”
Trailhead Biosystems is pioneering the development of cell-based therapeutics using its proprietary HD-DoE Technology (High-Dimensional Design of Experiments). Its groundbreaking methods depart radically from standard hypothesis-driven research, according to the company. Trailhead’s HD-DoE platform merges developmental biology and cell therapeutics with advanced robotics and computerized experimental design and analysis to perform process-specific parameter optimization in the development of cell therapies. Indeed, its versatile platform allows Trailhead to perform systems-level interrogation of various complex biological problems, ranging from the generation of industrially-scalable manufacturing conditions for specialized human cells to combinatorial drug discovery in cancer and anti-viral therapies.
The Entrepreneurship & Innovation Clinic works closely with the entrepreneurial communities at Yale University, in greater New Haven and beyond. Clinic students provide legal counsel to for-profit and nonprofit entrepreneurs and their ventures on the various transactional issues that arise from starting, managing, funding, and growing their businesses.