TenSixteen Bio Launches with Funding from Foresite Capital and GV As the First Company to Use CHIP to Treat Age-Related Diseases

Founded by Foresite Labs, the company is led by the co-founder of Forty Seven and former VP of Oncology at Gilead Sciences with pioneers in the emerging field of CHIP

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TenSixteen Bio launched today with $40M from Foresite Capital and GV (formerly Google Ventures) on a mission to redefine precision medicine in complex disease by leveraging new insights in somatic mosaicism including clonal hematopoiesis (CHIP). Incubated by Foresite Labs, the company aims to leverage its platform to address how somatic mutations that accumulate in our blood and other tissues offer new therapeutic avenues for a broad range of diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

While genes are inherited at birth, much of disease is caused by the human genome changing over the course of a lifetime through mutations that accumulate in cells as one ages. There are approximately 1016 cell divisions in the human body during a lifetime and each is an opportunity for mutation, leading to a patchwork of genetically distinct cells—a process called somatic mosaicism.

Over the last decade, researchers have discovered a form of somatic mosaicism in the blood, called clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential (CHIP) that results from mutations in a set of cancer-associated genes. These CHIP mutations lead to pre-malignant states that influence a spectrum of diseases. Recent research has shown that CHIP mutations confer a significant risk of developing multiple diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease and others, in some cases increasing an individual’s risk over tenfold.

Despite recent advances, cardiovascular disease and cancer remain the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the aging U.S. population. Understanding CHIP, and somatic mosaicism broadly, provides a new paradigm for early detection, treatment, and prevention of devastating diseases.

TenSixteen Bio was co-founded by CEO Mark Chao, physician-scientist and former co-founder of Forty Seven, an immuno-oncology company acquired by Gilead Sciences for $4.9B. Before starting TenSixteen, Dr. Chao served as VP of Oncology at Gilead Sciences and as a Clinical Instructor at Stanford University.

”As a physician, I’ve witnessed firsthand how we have struggled to treat disease in its end-stage. Treating disease earlier provides the best chance of success and is core to the TenSixteen mission,” said Chao. “By therapeutically targeting CHIP biology, we have the potential to change treatment paradigms across several diseases.”

TenSixteen is building a comprehensive research and development ecosystem around CHIP and somatic mosaicism. This ecosystem encompasses a large-scale multi-omics and clinical data platform and an expansive research and clinical trial network with leading academic and health care institutions, coupled with a novel proprietary assay to diagnose CHIP. Using these tools, TenSixteen is discovering new drug targets and building the ability to identify the patients who will respond best to tailored treatments.

“TenSixteen is the first company constituted to directly address somatic mosaicism and CHIP, age-associated drivers of many common diseases that represent broadly unmet medical needs,” said Vikram Bajaj, CEO of Foresite Labs and Managing Director of Foresite Capital. “By revealing its root causes, our hope is that companies of this kind will eventually intercept disease in its earliest stages.”

“Mark and the team are the right group of physicians and scientists to take on this pioneering work given their foundational research in the field and previous success in developing novel, data-driven therapeutics,” said Krishna Yeshwant, Managing Partner at GV. “We look forward to supporting them through this journey.”

TenSixteen Bio is led and supported by many of the pioneers in the emerging field of CHIP, including:

Academic Co-founders:

  • Alex Bick, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Benjamin Ebert, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chair of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Siddhartha Jaiswal, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology at Stanford University, Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
  • Pradeep Natarajan, M.D., MMSc, Director of Preventive Cardiology and the Paul & Phyllis Fireman Endowed Chair in Vascular Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Founding Scientific Advisors:

  • Peter Libby, MD, Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Cardiovascular Specialist, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; President, International Atherosclerosis Society
  • Alan Tall, MD, Tilden Weger Bieler Professor of Medicine, Division Chief of Molecular Medicine, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

”It is an exciting time where we are uncovering new insights on CHIP that impact human disease on an almost daily basis,” said Pradeep Natarajan, co-founder of TenSixteen Bio. The time is now to translate these insights into therapies, and I look forward to TenSixteen being a pioneer in this evolution.”

About TenSixteen Bio

TenSixteen Bio is the first company leveraging somatic mosaicism and clonal hematopoiesis (CHIP) to discover and develop novel therapeutics to treat age-related diseases. A Foresite Labs incubated company, TenSixteen Bio evaluates how DNA in our cells changes over the course of our lifetimes, building data sets to measure, understand, and use this evolution to inform drug discovery. The company aims to use its genomic and clinical platform to treat various age-related diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

About Foresite Labs

Foresite Labs is a center for entrepreneurial innovation at the nexus of data science and healthcare. Based in San Francisco and Boston, Foresite Labs partners with next generation healthcare entrepreneurs to launch life sciences and healthcare companies that use the tools of data science to solve our greatest unmet medical needs. For more information, please visit www.foresitelabs.com.

About Foresite Capital

Foresite Capital is a multi-stage healthcare and life sciences investment firm with approximately $4 billion in assets under management. The firm aims to address areas of great unmet need by funding promising healthcare and life sciences businesses at all stages of their life cycles. Foresite Capital uses a data science-driven approach to invest in companies that leverage biology and big data to transform healthcare. Founded in 2011, Foresite Capital is based in San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.foresitecapital.com.

About GV

GV provides venture capital funding to bold new companies. Across the fields of life science, enterprise technology, consumer products and services, and frontier technology, GV’s portfolio companies aim to improve lives and transform industries. GV’s team of world-class engineers, designers, physicians, scientists, marketers, and investors work together to provide startups exceptional support.

Launched as Google Ventures in 2009, GV is the venture capital arm of Alphabet, Inc. GV helps startups interface with Google, providing unique access to the world’s best technology and talent.

GV has over $8 billion under management. Notable investment outcomes include Uber, Slack, One Medical Group, Nest, Flatiron Health, and Duo Security. GV is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in San Francisco, Boston, New York, and London.


Kayla Abbassi

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